Table Talk: Additional source of energy, only coal fired plant can supply? PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 08 November 2011 14:34

BY Mike S Apostol

The decision to put up project of national scale ( world bank funded, from national budget, big private corporation assigned by the government to undertake multi-million projects either foreign or domestic companies as investment or tie-up with national government, those projects agreed in economic and trade agreements, congressional acts, etc. etc.) rest solely on the national government.    The recipient of such projects, cities, provinces or municipalities, can only object to such projects if there is eminent danger to the population or if there is concrete proof that it is adverse to the condition of the community once the project functions, or if the disadvantages is far greater that the advantages once the project is on or if it is a threat to the economic security of the community and a threat to the peace and order situation. Or those reasons where the government is at a disadvantage. A recipient barangay, city, province or municipality cannot stop what has been decided by the national government. All it can do is question the motives or as a last and futile effort: put the law into their hands, in this case as the last alternative, once a recipient area does this breach of the law losses its right to question
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The already done deal given by the national government to Conal Holdings through their subsidiary the San Ramon Power Inc. to put up a coal fired plant in the vicinity of the Zamboanga Economic Zone Authority, is being objected by the residents of the communities, where the plant will be constructed to include some of their barangays and city officials, for reasons that the coal fired plant is highly injurious to the health of the city’s populace. Even hinting that coal fired electric plants in other countries, have been ordered shut down by their governments. The question now that Zamboanga City has to undertake maturely and professionally is that; Is a coal fired plant the only solution to the coming electric energy shortage brought about by the increase of population and usage that the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines , (NGCP formerly NAPOCOR) cannot anymore supply due to the dwindling supply for their Maria Cristina Grid? And coal fired power plant the cheapest option at the moment rather than a fuel power plant? Or is NGCP telling the truth that it cannot anymore supply Mindanao”s need of 900 megawatts? There is more that meets the eye in this reason of lack of supply by the NGCP.
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If indeed NGCP cannot anymore supply Mindanao with its demand of 900 megawatts, then why is NGCP constructing main power lines for distribution from Bukidnon to Davao City then from Aurora Zamboanga Del Sur to Polanco Zamboanga Del Norte?  This is a multi-million pesos project crossing hundreds of kilometers passing through Mindanao’s heartland jungles. Is it the energy supply that is lacking or is it the transmission lines that are inadequate? Then why is the city government of Zamboanga only mimicked to what the information that NGCP is feeding to the public instead of asking more questions in line with the distribution and allocation scheme of NGCP to its clientele cities and provinces? Is the energy supply from the Maria Cristina Grid equally distributed in Mindanao according to population and area? Or those ailing cooperatives with huge debt to NGCP are given barely enough energy without any reserve and consideration? We know business is business in a private corporation, but, in this case, energy is a basic necessity hence its treatment in business should be controlled by the government. Unbundling of power rates by the government should be stopped because it is subsidizing most of the imports like fuel and lubricants that power grids are using.
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Scoop: Next issue electric cooperatives, are they following their mandate? Or are they treated like private businesses?