No need for emergency powers to address Mindanao power crisis, says President Aquino

March 29, 2012 10:24 pm 

MANILA, March 29 — President Benigno S. Aquino III thumbed down the proposal by Congress to grant him emergency powers to address the power situation in Mindanao, saying there's no need for it.

In an interview after inaugurating the Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea (PEFTOK) Korean War Memorial Hall in Taguig City on Thursday, the President said the government is working towards expediting the release of the required permits to put up coal fire powered plants in the province instead.

“We’re setting up a coal fire plant which is the fastest (and) will take about two to three years. Part of the process (to be able to put up these power plants) is to get local government authority to set up the plants; environmental compliance (certificates); and public dialogues. Na-delay ‘yung construction of the coal fire plants primarily because it took the two firms that are setting them up in Mindanao close to a year, or over a year, to secure the necessary permits,” the President said.

He lamented the delays in the release of the permits that would have allowed construction of the power plants to begin earlier and thus could have addressed the power requirements of the province.

“…yung one year that it took for all of the permits to be secured could have been one year already in construction and it would have brought us closer by one year, or one year to go na lang, to have the added generating capacity of these two coal-powered plants that, unfortunately, have yet to be constructed because of the delay in securing all of the necessary clearances,” the President said.

“So we are trying to expedite the process at the same time taking into consideration the concerns of the residents that will be affected,” he explained. (PNA)

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