DAVAO CITY, Philippines—The Department of Energy scored the New people’s Army after it attacked on Feb. 25, a hydropower plant project in Barangay Lumbayao, Valencia City in Bukidnon.
“This attack is totally unwarranted considering that it is not a military installation but a development project that seeks to contribute to uplifting the socio-economic conditions of the people. This attack will not only stall the hydro project’s construction timeline, it will also set back efforts to improve the quality of life of the people of Bukidnon,” DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi said in a statement Tuesday.
With the attack, DOE has activated the Inter-Agency Task Force which is tasked to ensure the completion of the projects by securing all the energy facilities from similar attacks in the future.
The task force is mix composition of DOE, Philippine National Police, National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, Armed Forces of the Philippines, National Transmission Corporation, National Electrification Administration and the National Power Corporation with the assistance of the DOE Mindanao Field Office.
DOE said a total of 20 communist rebels attacked a 10.6 megawatts Pulanai Hydroelectric Power Plant project of Repower Energy Development Corp. and Manila Electric Co.
The NPA has yet to issue a statement on the incident.
The run-off-river hydropower project will utilize the Pulanai River in Bukidnon. The target date of commissioning is the first half of 2019, according to the energy department.
“We are aiming to facilitate the development of all alternative and indigenous energy supply for the future of Mindanaoans. We have long been wanting our kababayans living there to feel the presence of progress, yet these people are stealing that chance from them,” Cusi pointed out.
For Cusi, the recent attacked of the NPA is a question of sincerity inasmuch as they looking forward for the resumption of the peace talks with the government.
“The National Democratic Front has been urging the Duterte Administration to resume the peace talks but NPA attacks on a development project such as this do not inspire confidence that they are sincere in returning to the negotiating table,” he said.
“We assure the public that the DOE will ensure energy security, and strive to classify energy projects as projects of national significance to protect these development initiatives for the welfare of our people,” Cusi added. (davatoday.com)