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The synergy of geothermal power and ecozones will power up progress, PGMA says

Tacloban City (September 26) -- President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo during the turn-over to PNOC-EDC of the Leyte Optimization Geothermal Plants in Ormoc City, Leyte, told the officials and the people of Leyte that geothermal plants need not only transform steam to power, they can also be harnessed to channel steams to jobs.

The President expressed her happiness that the local government units are also given their share of royalty from the geothermal fields because this way the LGUs are able to use their royalties to subsidize the constituents' electric bills, so that the people here pay lower power rates than those in places which do not have their own sources of energy.

Answering Ormoc Mayor Eric Codilla's hope that the President could help bring investors in Leyte, the President said there is a way to do it.

"We can do this by convincing investors to take advantage of cheap power in the communities hosting geothermal plants," the President informed. Cheap power by itself coming from the subsidies of electric bills, is already a powerful draw that will make it more irresistible by throwing in other fiscal incentives which an ecozone is allowed to grant, the President added.

So, the President said if ecozones are built in host areas of geothermal power, the investors will come. The synergy of geothermal power and ecozones will power up progress, the President claimed.

This, she said is the reason why she signed an Executive Order instructing local government units to put up economic zones in areas where the seven geothermal sites are located. The Geothermal Plant in Leyte is included here, the President said.

This program is called GIGA for Generating Investments in Geothermal Areas. "The acronym GIGA connotes big_ gigabytes, which describes our geothermal fields as the biggest wet fields in the world as well as the potential in incubating businesses near them," the President revealed.

"What should lure investors to set up geothermal plants is the same reason that let government and the private sector such as the Leyte Optimization Investors, to put in billions to build them, the availability of cheap and clean energy. And as I said it would be cheap because in these areas, local governments have lots of bank accounts from project royalties that they use to subsidize the electric bills of their constituents."

The President added that she has ordered the Philippine Economic Zone Authority under Secretary Peter Favila to guide the host communities in the establishment of economic zones.

Thus, the President urged the host communities, Full Steam Ahead! (PIA 8) [top]

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