Hazy Monday in Angeles City; Renewable Energy; CABG available @ TMC

Was it just me, my wife, my mother-in-law and some other sensitive people? Or was there really a sort of haze that pervaded around Angeles City late in the day just last Monday?

I thought at first that it was the neighbors burning trash or something, again, and encompassing the surroundings. One particular neighbor burns something that emits black smoke assaulting our noses and the surroundings. But the seeming smoke did not reek of burning stuff.

I thought it was fog. My mother-in-law said when she was young, this fog phenomenon usually occurred when the month of September comes. She may be right. Fog or mist, from some accounts I read, and based on her experience, is a sign of what Lord Eddard Stark in Game of Thrones has always been saying in their great house’s motto: Winter is coming.

Another sign of this change in the weather is the arrival of the shrike, or the tarat in Filipino. They are here. I have already heard their shrill cry just a few days ago. The Christmas Season in the Philippines, after all, starts when September comes.

And when the shrikes arrive, it is also a telltale sign for Angeleños that the La Naval Fiesta in Angeles City is near. But that’s another story.

Going back…

This haze, fog or mist, puzzled me. I have seen fog in my time where minute water droplets can be seen. But this would be around the early morning and the wee hours.

I hope this is not a sign of pollution rearing its eerie head on Angeles City. There are so many vehicles in the city now that have spawned the dreaded urban problem called traffic. It reminds me of the “smaze”, or the mixture of smoke and haze, that affected Indonesia before and stretched across oceans and affecting our country as well.

I hope that does not happen in our beloved city, or our country for that matter.

Just recently, The Medical City Clark (TMC Clark) launched the Z Benefit Package of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation or PhilHealth for Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery or CABG.

Hospital officials formally announced recently that TMC Clark has been chosen as one of the accredited hospitals nationwide to offer the Z Benefit Package for CABG.

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery or CABG is a type of surgery that improves blood flow to the heart in people who have severe coronary heart disease (CHD). CHD is a disease in which a waxy substance called plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries, narrowing the inside of the arteries and limiting the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart.

In CABG, the blocked portion of the coronary artery is bypassed with a piece of a healthy blood vessel from another part of the body. Blood vessels, or grafts, used for the procedure may be pieces of a vein from the leg or an artery in the chest. The doctor attaches one end of the graft above the blockage and the other end below the blockage, bypassing the blockage by going through the new graft to reach the heart.

One patient who has undergone CABG at TMC Clark, Violeta Bagtas Hernandez of Bataan, was on hand to show that the surgery was a success. Her attending physician was Thoracic and Cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Roberto Cristobal.

Dr. Oliver Paul Chan, TMC Clark Medical Director, said that through the Z Benefit Package, Philhealth shoulders a maximum of P500,000 for the surgery with the remainder to be provided by the patient’s family. In Hernandez’s case, her daughter paid P100,000 for the surgery.

Chan explained that CABG usually costs from P700,000 to P1,000,000. But with the Philhealth Z Benefit Package, the patient’s family’s burden can be eased through government assistance and are assured of topnotch skill and expertise by the TMC Clark CABG physicians that include, along with Dr. Cristobal: Thoracic and Cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Avelino Aventura; Adult Cardiologist and Intensivist Dr. Claire Sebastian; and, Interventional Cardiologists Drs. Elaine Payumo and Domicias Albacite, among others.

Kudos to the management and staff of TMC Clark and to their energetic Sales and Marketing Director Evelyn Luciano-Yumul for this noble undertaking. Because at TMC Clark, it is indeed where “patients are partners.”

I make it a point to write about the environment every chance I get. And through iOrbit, I get that chance pretty often.

So here’s my take on renewable energy (RE) that I personally am batting for.

Solar farms and wind farms such as those in Pililia and Bangui not only provide renewable energy but also attract local and foreign tourists. Proof of this are the pictures posted by tourists on social media whenever they visit the wind farm in Ilocos Norte.

Aside from beautifying a particular landscape, such technology also contributes to efforts to arrest climate change.

In 2013, the World Wide Fund for Nature or WWF, launched a global campaign called Seize Your Power, a general term urging governments and people to seize the wind, seize the sun and seize the flow, that gave birth to other technologies as part of its efforts to educate the people about climate change and RE.

WWF-Philippines has cited that in some cases, the cost of constructing solar or wind farms is lower than the cost of constructing coal-fired power plants that have been proven to be have an adverse effect in the environment.

WWF also holds environmental education sessions and bring in adaptive technologies and build capacities for sustainable food, water and energy in off-grid communities to help improve the residents’ lives by providing power to remote islands with energy distribution systems that saves costs incurred by delivering fuel to such locations.

Aside from greening energy usage and cutting costs for consumption, RE provides energy security to a country as it is an indigenous source of energy, meaning the resource is available locally and, most importantly, is not prone to foreign influences and fuel price fluctuations.

The Philippines has a huge potential for RE waiting only to be tapped. An estimated energy potential of 76,000 MW by harnessing the wind from the country’s prevailing monsoons; an estimated 10,500 MW in hydropower in mountainous tropical landscapes; 1,200 mw in geothermal energy from volcanoes; and, a whooping 170,000 MW that could be tapped from the vast oceans that surround the country.

Let us just hope that our leaders see this in time.

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