Mindanao biz sector awaits Aquino’s energy plan

May. 23, 2010

DAVAO CITY—The business sector in Mindanao is waiting for the immediate move of the incoming administration under President-apparent Benigno Aquino on power issues that concern Mindanao up to now.

In the last Club 888 Forum at Marco Polo Hotel, Vicente Lao, Mindanao Business Council (MBC) and Mindanao Electric Power Alliance (Mepa) chairperson, bared the sector’s wait-and-see status on how Aquino will resolve Mindanao’s power crisis.

Lao suggested the construction of power plants to cope with the rising power demand in the region. Mindanao, having the highest power demand in the entire country, cannot export supply from Luzon and Visayas.

“The last plant that the government built in Mindanao was in 1998. After the STEAG construction, there were no more plants built,” Lao said.

Lao said this resulted in the power crisis that hit Mindanao. He added the business sector already warned the government on this possibility two years ago. However, it was only early part this year that the government was alarmed and and declared a state of calamity in the area.

Lao also bared plans of writing a letter to the new president containing the position of Mepa on the expected privatization of Agus-Pulangi Hydropower Complex.

“Some members of Mepa are favoring the privatization while some are not. This needs to be properly evaluated to come up with an intelligent decision,” said Lao.

The Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry is also set to deliberate on their position and come up with proposals that could be of help to the decision of the national government. (PIA XI)

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