TABUAN LASA, Basilan – Close to 26,000 residents of this newly-created town will soon enjoy electricity for the first time.

The Department of Energy (DOE) through the Basilan Electric Cooperative (Baselco) has started the implementation of a P9.2 million electrification project in this remote town.

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The DOE contracted Baselco to undertake the electrification project being the sole electric distributor of this province's mainland.

Mayor Muctar Junaid said the project is scheduled to be completed within a 90-day period.

The Baselco personnel are already installing the transmission cables as they have completed erecting all the wooden transmission line posts.

Junaid said Tabuan Lasa town will have its own power plant citing the electrification project includes the purchase and installation of diesel-fired power generating sets.

Junaid said the project, one completed, will be of big help to the residents of this town who had been relying of solar electricity and gas lamps to have light at night time for the past several years.

Junaid said the electrification of this town will boost business activity especially of marine products.

“We will no longer have to buy blocks of ice in Maluso town to keep our marine products fresh,” Junaid said.

Maluso is 30-minute ride away from this town by jungkung, a locally made watercraft powered by three engines of 13 horse power each.

This town was created by virtue of Muslim Mindanao Autonomy Act No. 187, which was subsequently ratified in a plebiscite held on March 29, 2008.

Tabuan Lasa, which has 12 villages, forms part of Sumisip town before it was created into a municipality.

This town has a population of 25,959 people based on the 2007 Census on Population conducted by the National Statistics Office. (Bong Garcia)