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Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Opinion: Candidacy of Atty. Leandro 'Lindy' Lachica for Hudson County District 1 Commissioner in NJ will Rekindle Political Interest of FilAms By Manuel L Caballero




JERSEY CITY - We will go local this week.

We believe that the candidacy of Filipino American Atty. LEANDRO "Lindy" LACHICA of Bayonne, NJ for Hudson County District 1 Commissioner will rekindle the seemingly waned interest of Jersey City Filipino Americans in local politics.

This is our belief even if Atty. Lachica's District 1 comprises only of Bayonne and parts of Greenville section of Jersey City, including Country Village and Society Hill and the following streets west of J.F. Kennedy Blvd.

including cross streets:

a) Custer Ave

b) Gates Ave

c) Seaview Ave

d) Neptune Ave

e) Winfield Ave

f) Bartholdi Ave

g) Pearsall Ave

h) Lembeck Ave

Voters of those communities and streets, in addition to Bayonne, are eligible to vote for Atty. LACHICA.

According to his  campaign leaflet, the Fil Am candidate is a "well-known lawyer and former diplomat from the Philippines, previously worked as a Consul and top legal expert at the PH Consulate General in New York." He is a trusted advocate in the District he is a candidate. 

He has a successful history of dealing with work problems and fighting against human trafficking. Presently, Atty. Lindy focuses on immigration and employment problems. He helps non-profit organizations in NJ free of charge.

Atty. Lindy studied at the University of the Philippines.

Make Atty. LINDY LACHICA win on Nov. 7,  like Fil Ams did during the elections of JC Mayors Bret Schundler, J. Healy, and incumbent  Steven Fulop . Same is true with former City Council President Rolando Lavarro Jr.  History shows that when the estimated 15,000 Filipinos in Jersey City get out and stand behind a candidate, that bet ends in victory. Let that history repeat itself in the case of Atty. Leandro "Lindy" LACHICA.

(I want to thank Amira Allahh for providing me with some pieces of information used in above column).


Governor Hochul Announces Nation’s Largest-Ever State Investment in Renewable Energy is Moving Forward in New York

Governor Kathy Hochul announces the largest state investment in renewable energy in United States history, demonstrating New York’s leadership in advancing the clean energy transition. (Don Pollard/Office of Governor Hochul)

Three Offshore Wind and 22 Land-Based Renewable Energy Projects Totaling 6.4 Gigawatts Will Power 2.6 Million New York Homes and Deliver 12 Percent of New York’s Electricity Needs in 2030

Projects Expected to Create Approximately 8,300 Family-Sustaining Jobs and Bring $20 Billion in Economic Development Investments Statewide, Including Developer-Committed Investments to Support Disadvantaged Communities

Advances the Nation’s First Offshore Wind Blade and Nacelle Manufacturing Facilities with the State Committing $300 Million and Attracting an Additional $668 Million in Private Funding

Supports Progress Toward New York’s Climate Act Goal to Obtain 70 Percent of the State’s Electricity from Renewable Sources by 2030

79 Percent of New York’s 2030 Electricity Needs to be Met with Renewable Energy

Governor Kathy Hochul on Tuesday, October 24, announced the largest state investment in renewable energy in United States history, demonstrating New York’s leadership in advancing the clean energy transition. The conditional awards include three offshore wind and 22 land-based renewable energy projects totaling 6.4 gigawatts of clean energy, enough to power 2.6 million New York homes and deliver approximately 12 percent of New York’s electricity needs once completed. When coupled with two marquee offshore wind blade and nacelle manufacturing facilities, this portfolio of newly announced projects is expected to create approximately 8,300 family-sustaining jobs and spur $20 billion in economic development investments statewide, including developer-committed investments to support disadvantaged communities. Today’s announcement supports progress toward New York's goal for 70 percent of the state's electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030 – and nine gigawatts of offshore wind by 2035 – on the path to a zero-emission grid as required by the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. Following these awards, New York will now have enough operating, contracted, and under development renewable energy projects to supply 79 percent of the state’s 2030 electricity needs with renewable energy.

“New York continues to set the pace for our nation’s transition to clean energy,” Governor Hochul said. “An investment of this magnitude is about more than just fighting climate change – we’re creating good-paying union jobs, improving the reliability of our electric grid, and generating significant benefits in disadvantaged communities. Today, we are taking action to keep New York’s climate goals within reach, demonstrating to the nation how to recalibrate in the wake of global economic challenges while driving us toward a greener and more prosperous future for generations to come.”

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said, “The Department of Energy applauds the significant step that this announcement represents for building an offshore wind energy industry here in the U.S. that revitalizes domestic manufacturing and coastal economies, while advancing our clean energy future. New York is showing President Biden’s Investing in America agenda at work, and DOE looks forward to continued collaboration on project deployment, development of a robust domestic supply chain along with transmission development to help realize both our state and federal offshore wind goals.”

Once in service, the awarded offshore wind and land-based renewable energy projects will:

  • Produce approximately 19 million megawatt-hours of new renewable energy per year, enough to power more than 2.6 million New York homes.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 9.4 million metric tons annually, the equivalent of taking more than 2 million cars off the road every year.
  • Provide public health benefits resulting from reduced exposure to harmful pollutants—including fewer episodes of illness and premature death, fewer days of missed school or work, less disruption of business, and lower health care costs.
  • Deliver a host of benefits to disadvantaged communities in line with the Climate Act goals, with over $3.5 billion in commitments to disadvantaged communities made by developers.

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “This latest and largest round of large-scale renewable energy awards is further proof that New York is, and will continue to be, a place where the renewable energy sector can thrive. This cohort of large-scale renewable energy projects reflect New York’s longstanding and ongoing priority to responsibly advance the most cost-competitive and economically viable clean energy projects in a manner that is timely and maximizes benefits for all New Yorkers.”

Today’s announcement represents the first set of actions taken by the State as part of New York’s 10-point Action Plan, announced recently by Governor Hochul, offering insight into how the Governor’s Administration plans to overcome recent macroeconomic and inflationary challenges that have impacted the renewable energy sector. Today’s awards also mark the commencement of contract negotiations with the awarded parties, and the awards are conditional on successful contract execution.

Demonstrating the State's commitment to ensuring these projects create quality, family-sustaining jobs for New Yorkers, the contracts upon full execution will include commitments to purchase certain minimum amounts of U.S. iron and steel and prevailing wage provisions for all laborers, workers, and mechanics performing construction activities. In addition, offshore wind project developers will be required to negotiate Project Labor Agreements among their construction contractors and a building and construction trade labor organization representing craft workers for the construction of the new renewable energy generation resources.

The Nation’s Largest-Ever State Investment in Offshore Wind
In the most competitive offshore wind solicitation in the U.S., NYSERDA has selected three new offshore wind projects totaling 4,032 megawatts (MW) of clean energy which is expected to displace over 7 million metric tons of CO2 annually, equivalent to removing 1.6 million cars from the road each year. Additionally, the awarded projects will bring more than $15 billion in anticipated in-state spending and create more than 4,200 family sustaining jobs across Long Island, New York City and the Capital Region over the 25-year lifespan of the projects.

The three offshore wind projects include:

  • Attentive Energy One (1,404 MW) developed by TotalEnergies, Rise Light & Power and Corio Generation. The project includes a novel fossil repurposing plan in Queens, which seeks to retire fossil fuel power generation in the heart of New York City and transition the current workforce to clean energy jobs.
  • Community Offshore Wind (1,314 MW) developed by RWE Offshore Renewables and National Grid Ventures. The project includes utilization of new grid interconnection being developed by Con Edison in downtown Brooklyn, made possible by the Public Service Commission Order Approving Cost Recovery for Clean Energy Hub to maximize delivery of clean electricity into New York City.
  • Excelsior Wind (1,314 MW) developed by Vineyard Offshore (Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners). The project includes proposed cable route options providing robust energy deliverability to Long Island, leveraging the electric grid expansion provided through the Long Island Public Policy Transmission Need outcome.

Together, these projects will bring tremendous benefits to New York’s economy, workforce, and environment, including:

  • More than $85 million to support wildlife and fisheries research, mitigation, and enhancement.
  • Nearly $300 million in commitments to Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) and Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOBs).
  • Over $100 million in commitments to train New York’s workforce to build and service offshore wind projects.
  • Billions of dollars in public health benefits resulting from reduced exposure to harmful pollutants—including fewer episodes of illness and premature death, fewer days of missed school or work, less disruption of business, and lower health care costs.
These projects employ a mix of flexible and innovative transmission designs, including a reduced footprint in transmitting energy from offshore wind projects to New York City through high voltage direct current (HVDC) and adaptable “Meshed-Ready” offshore electrical substations. The three offshore wind projects are anticipated to enter commercial operation in 2030. The average bill impact for customers over the life of the projects will be approximately 2.73 percent, or about $2.93 per month. The average all-in development cost of the awarded offshore wind projects over the life of the contracts is $96.72 per megawatt-hour.


Filipino Leadership In Tech, Investments, and Business Gathers for Filipino American History Month and New York Tech Week

(L-R: Daniel Galeon, Consul General Senen T. Mangalile, Atty. Marie Siton, Isabel Yap, Mika Reyes, Joey Castillo, Earl Martin Valencia, Atty. Jose Ranulfo Mendoza, Jasmine Baliwag, and Trade Commissioner Benedict Uy)

In celebration of Filipino American History Month and New York Tech Week, the Philippine Consulate General in New York and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center in New York, in partnership with Plentina, hosted a conversation with Filipinos and Filipino Americans in tech, investments, and business on Tuesday, 24 October 2023, at the Philippine Center.


Consul General Senen T. Mangalile, in his opening remarks, welcomed the audience who consisted of young professionals in the tech, investment, business, financial services sector and members of the public. He added that the Philippine Consulate looks forward to seeing young Filipino-Americans contribute to a dynamic innovation ecosystem.


Mr. Earl Martin Valencia, co-founder of Plentina and member of the National Innovation Council of the Philippines (NIC), presented the 2023-2032 National Innovation Agenda and Strategy Document (NIASD) which was officially launched by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. in September 2023. “Innovation, through a dynamic innovation ecosystem, will facilitate the creation and translation of knowledge and ideas into high-quality and competitive products and services to promote economic growth, well-being, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability. It will help us avoid the unwanted futures from becoming a reality and can be the key to achieving Ambisyon Natin 2040 – a matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na buhay para sa lahat” he said.


The following served as resource speakers and shared their respective expertise and experiences in navigating tech, business, and investment:


  • Mika Reyes, Co-Founder and CEO, Parallax
  • Isabel Yap, Product Manager, Klaviyo 
  • Joey Castillo, VP, Marketing, Prudential/PGIM
  • Jasmine Baliwag, Senior Manager, Payments, Regulatory and Compliance, Robinhood
  • Daniel Galeon, Sr. Director, Chief of Staff, CCO and Risk, Payoneer 

The panel discussion was moderated by Atty. Marie Siton, Master of Laws (LLM) Candidate, Cornell Tech, while Atty. Jose Ranulfo Mendoza, LLM Candidate, New York University served as master of ceremonies.


Mayor Adams, TLC Commissioner Do Deliver On "Green Rides" Program To Make All NYC Shared Rides Zero-Emission Or Wheelchair Accessible By 2030

 NYC is First U.S. City to Commit to Making Rideshare Fleet Entirely Zero-Emission or Wheelchair Accessible; 
Fulfills Major Commitment in Mayor Adams’ “Working People’s Agenda”

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) Commissioner David Do on Wednesday, October 18, celebrated the passage of the “Green Rides” rule, requiring the city’s rideshare fleet to be either zero-emission or wheelchair accessible by 2030, following a unanimous vote by the TLC. Announced in January 2023 as part of Mayor Adams’ “Working People’s Agenda,” the Green Rides program makes New York City the first U.S. city to commit to transitioning all for-hire vehicle rides to be either zero-emission or wheelchair accessible — without imposing any new costs on drivers. To help make this transition possible, beginning tomorrow morning, the TLC will accept new license applications for electric vehicles (EVs).

“With the passage of this historic rule and the immediate release of electric vehicle licenses, we are delivering on a promise made to New Yorkers earlier this year and hitting the road towards a more sustainable and accessible future,” said Mayor Adams. “At the other end of this trip is a greener, more inclusive city with healthier air, a cleaner environment, and more economic opportunities for working-class New Yorkers. I’d like to thank all the commissioners at TLC for embracing this bold initiative and making sure New York City continues to lead the nation in sustainable innovation.”

“Green Rides is a critical cornerstone of our broader work to reduce carbon emissions, making it easier to breathe for all New Yorkers,” said Deputy Mayor of Operations Meera Joshi. “This program brings more charging infrastructure in locations that work for our city’s professional TLC drivers and solidifies that wheelchair accessible vehicles are a permanent and growing part of our for-hire fleet.”

“This gradual, measured transition will benefit the environment, the city’s rideshare drivers, and anyone needing an accessible vehicle,” said TLC Commissioner Do. “It is designed to ensure that electric vehicles can join the fleet in tandem with the development of charging infrastructure and price-parity with gas-powered vehicles. Simultaneously, it reinforces our commitment to accessibility.”

“The unanimous vote by the TLC allows us to check another PlaNYC goal off our list,” said Mayor’s Office of Climate & Environmental Justice Executive Director Elijah Hutchinson. “This new rule will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, creating a healthier New York City for all. This will also help us advance our important goal of increasing EV charging infrastructure.”

Under the new rule, the city’s high-volume for-hire services — Uber and Lyft, which currently operate fleets of approximately 78,000 vehicles combined — will need to dispatch 100 percent of their trips to either zero-emission vehicles or wheelchair accessible vehicles by 2030. The rule sets annual benchmarks beginning at the end of 2024, when five percent of rideshare trips must be either zero-emission or wheelchair accessible — a responsible first step that has already been achieved. The requirement increases to 15 percent at the end of 2025, then 25 percent at the end of 2026, and then by an additional 20 percent each year until 2030.

The rule codifies Mayor Adams’ plan, supported by Uber and Lyft, to electrify the city’s high-volume for-hire vehicles. It also accounts for the rapid rise of electric vehicles and the city’s commitment to enable a significant increase in necessary charging infrastructure as part of Mayor Adams’ “PlanNYC: Getting Sustainability Done.” As most electric vehicle chargers will be built by the private sector, the transition to electric rideshare vehicles accelerated by Green Rides provides a significant economic incentive to accelerate that work. Particularly important to rideshare drivers will be the installation of DC fast chargers (also known as Level 3 chargers), which can charge an electric vehicle in as little as 20 minutes. Brooklyn-based Revel alone is in the process of tripling the amount of fast chargers available in New York City by the end of 2023.

To help meet the Green Rides goals, the TLC has lifted its pause on new licenses for electric for-hire vehicles, following the overwhelming demand for 1,000 electric licenses that the agency released in March and were gone within two minutes as well as the TLC’s most recent For-Hire Vehicle License Review study on the impact of the number of TLC-licensed vehicles. As is currently the case for wheelchair accessible vehicles, starting tomorrow morning, electric vehicle licenses will be available for any interested and qualified parties for the foreseeable future. Opening electric vehicle licenses will provide drivers currently leasing TLC vehicles with the opportunity to own their own business, and it will help foster competitive rates in the leasing market. The TLC strongly encourages anyone applying for an EV license to have a sound financial plan, utilize state and federal incentives, and consider the availability of charging infrastructure in their area.


Monday, October 23, 2023

Opinion: Former VP Robredo Reveals Her Plans in Keynote Speech Before Fellow UP Alumni; UP Prez Jimenez Tells 'OMW' Thrust of His Administration By Manuel L Caballero




Ex-VP Leni Robredo.

Former PH Vice President Leni Robredo spoke as a fellow Iskolar ng Bayan (she belongs to Class 86, Diliman) before some 250 UP alumni today, Oct. 20, at the UPAAA General Reunion and Convention at Hyatt Regency in New  Brunswick, NJ.

She was introduced by fellow UP'an Atty. and author Loida Lewis . After the introduction, I jokingly whispered to Atty. Loida that our guest need not speak anymore because she had told us virtually everything about the life of Atty. Leni, including the late Jesse Robredo falling in love with our guest at first sight. 

Atty. & author Loida Lewis.

Speaking for over 30 minutes, the ex-VP who appeared comfortable speaking before former school mates, some of whom were former dorm mates, narrated her story in Diliman during her school days.

She reiterated the commitment of every UP alumnus to service, excellence and integrity.

She also shared some of her experiences during her term as vice president.

She reiterated the story of her Angat Buhay project and the services it is doing for the poor. She narrated what her Office did during the pandemic months, including the tele health consultation.

Concluding her talk,  she called upon her fellow alumni to support Angat Buhay, which, she said, will continue.

One noticeable aspect in her talk was the absence of any mention about PH politics inspite of "loud" political issues happening in Manila, especially with her successor in the OVP.


UP President Angelo Jimenez and Manny Caballero.

In an interview with this writer, UP Prez Angelo Jimenez, who is scheduled to deliver a speech on Oct. 21,  revealed that his plan during his administration as president of the UP System (9 different UP universities) is to transform the academe into the digital age.

Likewise, he clarified that all the schools that comprise the UP System should be called "constituent universities" with equal significance to the values of UP.


Sharing some photos taken by OMW during today's gathering.

With fellow UP alumni Luz and Ana, both of UPAAA Nevada.

UPAAA President Dr. DAVID with OMW writer.

Fr. Greg Gaston, right,Director of Filipino School for priests in Rome gave the opening prayer.


Dr. Joy Celo, GRC Vice Chair with OMW Columnist.

OMW with UP'ans Momar Visaya and Bobby Dumaual and Michel Storer of Rutgers U.