Gov't. vows to resolve Mindanao power shortage before 2016

April 4, 2013 10:28 pm 

MANILA, April 4 – Administration Senator Franklin Drilon promised on Thursday that the present administration of President Benigno Aquino III will not pass the power shortage in Mindanao to the next administration.

”The power shortage in Mindanao is a problem that we inherited, but this administration will not pass this to the next administration,” Drilon said in a press briefing at the Team PNoy headquarters in Makati City.

”We will work on it. We will see to it that we will solve this problem during the Aquino watch,” the Team PNoy team manager added.

Drilon said the government has already allocated P4.4 billion which will be released to the National Electrification Administration (NEA) for the purchase of generator sets “so we can alleviate the problem while various sectors are in the process of putting up coal.”

”This is a solution that we have to do. We have to address the problem immediately. We are addressing it; we will solve it,”

Meanwhile, Team PNoy senatorial candidate Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III called for immediate and lasting solutions to the Mindanao power shortage, saying this is crucial in propelling economic growth and social progress in the region.

“We should move decisively to meet both the current and future electricity needs of Mindanao,” Pimentel, who joined Drilon in the media briefing, said.

“With peace in the horizon, it should be so much easier to propel economic growth and social progress with the construction of more power generation facilities,” Pimentel added.

As Mindanao continues to reel with up to eight-hour brownouts daily, Pimentel offered short-, medium- and long-term solutions to address the power crisis.

Idle power plants should be brought back online to maximize their use while allowing privately-owned generators to participate, added Pimentel, who shot up to fifth place in the latest Pulse Asia survey among senatorial candidates in next month's mid-term elections.

He also batted for the use of small, hydro-powered generators.

“Let us find a way to bring them online at the soonest possible time so at least shortage will reduce,” Pimentel said. “Definitely by next summer, it will not be as bad because I’m anticipating that offline plants now will be online by next summer.”

The medium-term thrust, according to Pimentel, should be the rehabilitation of the Angus-Pulangi hydro power complex while the long-term goal should be the construction of more base-load power plants that can handle the increased requirements of Mindanao and the exploration of alternative sources of energy like solar, bio mass, wave energy, wind and geothermal, among others.

“By end of 2014 or early 2015, the shortfall will be met by the plants being built now, which will come online at that time,” Pimentel said. (PNA)

FPV/JFM

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