Bohol to tap Wahig hydropower source
by Rey Anthony Chiu
Tagbilaran City (28 February) -- Development of Inabanga's Wahig-Pamacsalan River is on top of priorities of local leaders here as the government impresses the need for sustainable green energy.
To pursue the goal, Governor Erico Aumentado expected no less than cooperation from mayors whose towns are within the Wahig watershed.
The governor shared to the mayors his plan to tap the gushing waters of the Inabanga River, specifically at the Cantakoy Falls in Danao-Inabanga as a hydro-power source.
Hydropower generation produces essentially no carbon dioxide or other harmful emissions, unlike burning fossil fuels, environmentalists have pressed, he said.
This came after the governor along with the National Transmission Corporation, Department of Energy and the local department of environment flew on an ocular inspection of Bohol watersheds last month.
Aumentado, who spoke to mayors gathered in Batuan, said he would like to convene the Wahig-Pamacsalan River Development Council for the purpose,a nd he needs everybody's cooperation.
This too as Bohol environment authorities urge communities within the watershed of Bohol's longest river to initiate watershed protection by engaging in reforesting idle lands and by putting up sustainable water practices.
The watershed has spurred the last 27% of the rice sufficiency which Bohol attained after developing the Bohol Irrigation Projects I and II, all using the Wahig watershed, the governor pointed out.
If it could be done, then the Cantakoy would the fourth source of clean and sustainable energy in the province.
In place here are the hydro-power plants in Hanopol in Balilihan, Tontonan in Loboc and Ewon in Sevilla, both capable of producing a combined output of 7.5 to 8 megawatts, independent sources said.
Bohol however needs as much as a hundred to a hundred and fifty megawatts in the next few years to sustainably operate its eco-cultural tourism and agro-industries, data from the Provincial planning Office bared.
Meanwhile, a similar development is also put into realization in Davao del Sur as the government asserts its energy security thrust designed to hike the country's energy sufficiency to 60 percent by 2010.
Recent reports said that Hedcor, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aboitiz Ventures, Inc. has put P5.1 billion in Sibulan Hydropower Project in Barangay Sibulan. The project is one of the biggest investments of the Aboitiz Group in the power sector.
The facility is expected to generate a big volume of clean energy for the Mindanao Grid, and help address the global threat of global warming since it will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year.
Earlier, President Arroyo said energy security demands the development of indigenous and renewable sources, including geothermal, domestic oil and gas, solar, wind, wave and biofuels. Harnessing renewable energy comprises a critical component of the government's energy security strategy.
Increased power generation from geothermal, hydro and other indigenous resources has significantly reduced the country's dependence on imported fossil fuels. The government has likewise tapped renewable energy sources such as solar, micro-hydro, wind and biomass resources in its rural electrification efforts.
The Department of Energy (DOE) said renewable energy is foreseen to satisfy 40 percent of the country's primary energy requirements over a ten-year period beginning in 2003. (PIA) [top]