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PIA Press Release

PGMA eyes econozones in geothermal sites

CALINAN, Davao City (10 September) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has directed local government units in areas near or adjacent to geothermal producing sites particularly in the provinces of Albay, Laguna, Leyte, Negros Oriental, Sorsogon, North Cotabato and Negros Occidental to develop economic zones.

In a press conference during the 22nd anniversary of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ The Name Above Every Name, she said heavy-power user industries might as well locate in these ecozones to enjoy lower electric cost to run their operation.

President Arroyo also pointed the local job-generation advantage of having economic zones near a geothermal plant. "Hopefully dadami ang trabaho dito sa Southern Mindanao," she said in an interview aired over Sonshine TV Network.

Arroyo was supposed to sign the Executive Order at the PNOC Mt. Apo Geothermal Plant (Phil. National Oil Corp.). but due to bad weather, the PNOC ceremonies was cancelled, she instead signed it at the Prayer Mountain of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ of Pastor Apollo Quiboloy.

Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes said the EO bodes well with the talks recently held in Australia, of the 21 leaders of country-members of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

Reyes who was with the President, said APEC leaders discussed climate change which are heavily caused by "green house gas emission" which could be substantially reduced with the use of geothermal plants as power sources.

"Ang geothermal ay regalo ng Dios (is a gift from God). (With it) We are able to generate power at a lower cost than the imported fuel," he said.

"With the geothermal plant, we would have clean power, at lower cost; walang green house emission," he added.

Now that ecozones will be developed at geothermal plants, Reyes has seen investments to trickle to local level, generating jobs for local residents. "This is an anti-poverty (initiative) in the locality," Reyes said.

Under the recently-signed EO, areas eyed to be developed as ecozones are Tiwi in Albay, Makban which borders Makiling and Banahaw in Laguna; Tongonan which borders Ormoc and Kananga in Leyte; Palinpinon in Valencia, Negros Oriental; Bacban which borders Bacon and Manito in Sorsogon and Albay, respectively; Mt. Apo in the border of Kidapawan, North Cotabato; and Murcia in Negros Occidental. (PIA/JMDA) [top]

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