Guv: Power outages hurting tourism industry-A A +A
Monday, October 7, 2013
MISAMIS Oriental Governor Yevgeny Vincente B. Emano admitted that power outages are damaging the tourism industry, the sector he is pushing to generate jobs, economic activities and other productive opportunities for local residents in the province.
But Emano said they are studying on putting up new sources of power to supplement the supply shortage that is vital in promoting tourist attractions.
He said the proposed coal-fired power plants by FDC Utilities Inc. and the Cagayan Electric Power and Light Company (Cepalco) can be an answer to the shortage not only in the province of Misamis Oriental but the whole Northern Mindanao.
At present, the province is short of nine-megawatt power to achieve the no-brownout goal of the local government.
Emano said should coal-fired power plants are established, it can be of great help.
“But brownouts are definitely a barrier,” he added.
But Vice Governor Joey Pelaez said the two companies’ intent to invest in coal-fired power plants in the province, particularly in Villanueva town, has to pass through needle’s eye.
Pelaez said the Provincial Board was surprised to note that the two firms want to establish coal-fired power plants beside each other, “which have environmental implications.”
“We just want to know if they possessed their respective ECCs (Environment Clearance Certificate) to make sure that they don’t destroy the environment. We also want to know how much tax they would pay the local government (where the plant is situated). We would like to be assured that taxes due to the province are paid,” Pelaez said.
Pelaez said the construction of the plants was ordered stopped by the Provincial Board through a moratorium.
Pelaez clarified that he is not against the establishment of the two coal-fired power plants, but stressed: “We don’t want to rush but with due diligence.”
“Especially that the program of Governor Emano is on tourism, you cannot have tourism if the environment is polluted,” he added.
He said the Provincial Board is concerned about brownouts, “but we are looking into the application of these corporations.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 07, 2013.