Power crisis not only in Zambo, but Mindanao-wide — DOE, MinDA PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 16 March 2013 11:36

The power crisis is not only crippling Zamboanga City but is affecting the entire Mindanao due to diminishing power supply and increasing demand, according to the Department of Energy and the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).

This power outlook was presented during the Zamboanga Power Forum initiated by the city government yesterday afternoon at Paseo del Mar’s Centro Latino with no less than Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla and Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Secretary Luwalhati Antonino as resource persons together with Mayor Celso Lobregat.

Sec. Antonino said Mindanao is currently facing a serious power shortage brought about by a confluence of various reasons but basically due to the continuing economic growth. “Magandang balita pero merong problema. We are fast growing but we have no parallel increase in power supply,” she stressed.

According to her,  the power crisis requires long-term, not short-term, solutions. “We have the solutions but not easy and we urge each other’s help. All of us must swallow the pill,” she said, adding that the common objective now is to increase the power supply, especially for Zamboanga City.

“It is very important that everyone should be aware that we are part of the solution. Energy conservation is everyone’s responsibility,” she said.

For his part, Sec. Petilla said the present power crisis was seen six years ago. “Our capacity to supply power is going down but the demand is going up. “What is needed now is quick solution and the quickest is about 4-8 weeks to go on diesel or bunker fuel but it is very expensive to operate and maintain,” he explained.

“When it comes to power there is no short-term solution. It is always long-term,” Petilla said. He added that the thrust of the Department of Energy right now is really to plan out energy as a whole.

“We are not only talking about power for the next administration not even for this administration. Power is a long-term problem. It requires long-term solution. Kung mag brownout nagyon hindi ibig sabihim bukas mayron na tayong solusyon,” he said. “The problems that we have now were actually evident six years ago.”

He said some of the solutions that will be put in place may appear to be not needed now, but they’re actually to be not needed in the future. And if we don’t consider now we will still have problems in the future.

“To set up a hydro plant would take more than five years with about 159 permits to comply with. Coal-fired plant will also take time. All these possible solutions are long-term,“ Petilla said. — Vic Larato