Mayor Uy: Igacos’ economy at risk without reliable power

Samal mayor says financial downturn to worsen once Davao-Samal bridge completed sans reliable power
While the sunny season meant the influx of tourists to the Samal island, it also requires added power supply which the locality has been severely lacking for years.
While the sunny season meant the influx of tourists to the Samal island, it also requires added power supply which the locality has been severely lacking for years.Photo by City Government of Samal

ISLAND Garden City of Samal (Igacos) Mayor Al David Uy revealed that there will be an estimated fourfold financial downturn once the Samal Island-Davao City (SIDC) Connector, commonly known as the Davao-Samal Bridge, finishes yet power issues have not been resolved.

This, after he disclosed on Friday morning, June 28, 2024, during a special press conference held at Club Samal Resort that the city loses a total of around P120 million to P150 million annually mainly due to poor service of the Northern Davao Electric Cooperative (Nordeco).

Uy revealed that in order not to violate the law, they will be following the legislative franchise to “construct, operate, and maintain” a project, especially when its purpose is for commercial services.

“Just imagine, kung mo-forward ta, naa na ang tulay by 2033, siguro mga triple or quadruple na ang losses ani. Again, I would like to repeat [kay] ang pag tan-aw man gud sa tao, once naa na ang tulay naa na, musulod ang kuryente. Naay prankisa, kanang congressional franchise. Musundog ta’g proseso” the official said.

(Just imagine, if you move forward, the bridge will be there by 2033, the losses will probably triple or quadruple. Again, I would like to repeat [because] people really think that once the bridge is there, the electricity will come in. Remember, we still need a franchise, congressional franchise, and we will follow that process).

At present, the Local Government Unit of Samal (LGU-Samal) hopes to gain support from the national government in addressing the decade-long electric crisis. 

However, he clarified that even without the full support of the national government, the LGU will still continue to create comprehensive initiatives and other measures to regain Samal’s status as the prime tourism destination.

This comes after President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. in 2022 vetoed the law granting the expansion of the franchise coverage of the Davao Light and Power Company (DLPC) to other parts of Davao del Norte.

House Bill No. 10554 aimed to extend the reach of the Davao Light to the municipalities of Talaingod, Asuncion, Kapalong, San Isidro, and New Corella in Davao del Norte, as well as the Tagum City and Island Garden City of Samal.

Nordeco, which is the current electricity provider in those areas, has drawn criticism from provincial leaders as well as some of its member-consumer-owners (MCOs) for frequent brownouts and subpar service.

Uy reiterated that the decision of the chief executive was a “mistake” as the island continues to suffer poor power connection even up to this day. DEF

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