Rotational brownout in Mindanao: Withdrawal of investors feared

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Sunday, April 1, 2012


DUE to the continuous power outages experienced in Mindanao following claims of power supply shortage, several investors are feared to withdrew ventures in the region, according to Misamis Oriental second district Representative Yevgeny Vincente “Bambi” Emano.

Emano said investors would consider the brownout incidents as threat to their businesses.

“That’s why I am in favor of granting emergency powers to President (Benigno) Aquino to solve this problem,” Emano said over a radio interview Friday.

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Reports said Senator Antonio Trillanes IV pushed to grant one-year emergency powers to President Aquino in effort to address the energy crisis in Mindanao.

Reports added that Senate Bill 3167, also known as the Electric Power
Crisis Act of 2002, the President will be allowed to enter into negotiated contracts for the construction, repair, rehabilitation, improvement or maintenance of power plants, projects and facilities, subject to some safeguard provisions.

The measure expressly prohibits the government from granting sovereign guarantee for the payment of obligations incurred by the independent power producers, which then passed on the buck to consumers.

But Agham Party-list Representative Angelo B. Palmones was not buying the former soldier’s move saying: “There’s no need for the House of Representatives to grant emergency powers to the President.”

“Because what the government should do is to maximize the resources that it is having right now. It just appeared that they cannot solve it (by
their own powers),” Palmones said over radio talk.

He said: “Total mahilig naman ang government to grant subsidies, then they can subsidize the purchase of diesel to feed diesel-powered power plants in Mindanao.”

On suggestion of long term solution to address the power crisis in
Mindanao, Palmones said: “The government should rehabilitate the hydro electric power plants.”

“They should look for other sources like geothermal plants, or if magastos, coal-fired power plants, but not solar plants kasi mataas ang investment. Solar is not viable considering that Mindanao madalas tayong wala masyadong araw. Hindi ganun ka-viable, hindi pwedeng asahan for base load,” he said.

Palmones, on the other hand, dismissed claims that Mindanao is short of power supply, saying the House of Representatives must call for immediate investigation on the “artificial brownouts.”

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on April 02, 2012.

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