NDCC recommends state of calamity in Mindanao

March 10, 2010 10:35 pm 

MANILA, March 10 — Defense Secretary and National Disaster Coordinating Council chairman Norberto Gonzales recommended on Wednesday to President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo to declare a state of calamity in the entire Mindanao due to the prevailing power crisis.

Emerging from a meeting with the Chief Executive at the NDCC office in Camp Aguinaldo, Gonzales said: “I think it's really necessary that we declare a state of calamity in Mindanao so we are recommending (that)to the President…"

He said the proposed state of calamity will be in effect until the power situation “normalizes” or if the source of power in Mindanao will be “stable.”

“The state of calamity is really just authorizing the Department of energy to pursue certain measures because we cannot get these from Congress at this time because they’re not in session,” he said.

Gonzales said he will be in Davao to further evaluate the power problem in the area. “We’ll evaluate whether there are still power supply from the private sector and we will see how we can tap the private sector, instead of just consuming they may be able to help in the generation,” he said.

When asked if the measures will include lease of generator sets, Gonzales said: “The DOE will be studying all of those,” he said.

Gonzales dropped broad hints that the proposed state of calamity will be in effect until July when rains are expected to come. “The problem is that most of Mindanao is under, is more dependent on hydropower and the supply of water has really been [depleted] so we hope that there will be rain or typhoons by July,” he said.

“As per PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration), we will not have rains until June. We're hoping that by July we should have rains already,” he said.

Gonzales said he expects the President to approve the recommendation later Wednesday “the minute she receives this (recommendation).”(PNA) V3/VR

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