Give Mindanao more options to deal with power crisis — Chiz PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 22 April 2012 14:07

Solution to the current energy crisis in Mindanao should go beyond two options, which have been laid before Mindanaoans by responsible government agencies and concerned private sectors in an  attempt to address the power shortage, Senator Chiz Escudero today said.

Escudero, a member of the Joint Congressional Power Commission, said he is not convinced that Mindanaoans should be made to choose between cheap but unreliable energy and steady but expensive power, in the face of severe outages plaguing the southern island.

“I don’t think these are the only ways to go to respond to this problem. Cheap power has been the main competitive advantage of Mindanao in the economic front. With the pressing issues it has been facing like insurgency, terror acts and as of late, natural calamities, now it faces the threat of being stripped of its economic attraction. It just doesn’t sound right,” Escudero said.

The options referred to by the senator were drawn from last week’s government-sponsored Mindanao Energy Summit, which was specifically called for to immediately address the power problem in the island.

“I hope the government considers and weighs in the fact that cheap power is Mindanao’s main business attraction to compete with the more progressive Luzon and Visayas. The choice should be affordable and reliable power supply,” Escudero pointed out.

Escudero earlier put forward a proposal for the Department of Energy (DOE) to open up the market to allow competitive players to construct more power plants in Mindanao on condition that government still retains control and influence over the market. 

“Solutions in the medium and long ranges should be in place by now. In addition to an open market system in Mindanao, it is the most opportune time to consider and finally decide to connect with the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) power grid through the Sabah connection,” the senator said.
Escudero said the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines should now head towards the regional connectivity direction as part of its master plan to effectively serve the growing demand for power.