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PIA Press Release

Don't blame El Nino for Mindanao power crisis, says Usec Ampatuan

Ozamiz City (4 March) -- Undersecretary Zamzamin Ampatuan of the Department of Energy (DOE) has called on the private sector, the local government units and other stakeholders to unite their efforts in solving the power crisis that is now affecting Mindanao.

During an Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Campaign on the 20-Year Philippine Energy Plan and Nuclear Energy 101 held in Ozamiz City, today, Usec Ampatuan said the main problem is actually power generation.

"We have to accept the fact that we did not generate enough power. So let us stop blaming the weather. Weather is not the reason. We have the wrong mix. We always say we have generated 60 percent (%) of our power from hydro-electric plants, yet we did not plan to have alternative sources," he said.

Government has to take it bluntly. We did not do something about it and the only thing we can do now is talk about it.

And while DOE is putting a face in the midst of this crisis and works out an energy scheme to upgrade facilities and check the transmission systems, it is also calling on all stakeholders for a cooperative endeavor to address the power crisis.

He said there are certain loopholes in our policy environment that are sustainable. And the best way is to invite the private sector, especially, those who can afford to buy power generators, to come together and make investments to put up power plants.

Or we would put up 1,000 megawatts of coal-powered plant which needs a budget of US$ 2 billion, but where do we get such amount?, he asked.

The second to be done in Mindanao, next to that in Davao City, the activity was attended by the different heads of various chambers of commerce and industry and members of the regional development councils from regions 9, 10 and the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), and barangay executives of the city.

Included in the IEC campaign were discussions on the following topics: Philippine Energy Outlook, Power Supply and Demand and DOE Plans and Program, Overview of the Nuclear Technology Applications in the country, particularly, in agriculture, industry, environment and medicine, Nuclear Energy for Power Generation and Nuclear Regulations and Safety. (Rutchie Cabahug-Aguhob, PIA 10) [top]

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