Adequate power supply needed not just during polls—Sen. Bongbong Marcos

4 February 2013

Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. urged the government to ensure adequate and stable power supply in the country not just during elections but also all throughout the year.

Marcos aired the call following the announcement of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) that it has created a task force to guarantee uninterrupted power transmission during the May 13, 2013 mid-term elections.

Earlier, the Department of Energy (DOE)created a similar task force to ensure the supply of electricity during the national and local elections in May.

“I welcome the moves to ensure there would be no power interruptions during the elections but, we should not stop at such stop gap measures to address our power problems,” Marcos said.

“The voting and the outcome of the election will be completed in a few days. After this, the people need to go back to their work or business to earn a living and for these they need adequate supply of electricity too,” he added.

Besides, Marcos said that temporary measures to soften the power crisis in Mindanao such as using power barges are more costly in the long run, resulting as well to increased power costs that would hurt business and investment prospects.

“What we need is a determined effort by the national government to put up the necessary power infrastructures that would ensure not just adequate and dependable supply of electricity but affordable too,” Marcos said.

According to the NGCP, there is ample reserve of electricity in Luzon and the Visayas but the power situation in Mindanao is critical as it far exceeds the available supply.

Reports said the people of Mindanao could experience rotating brownouts as the Agus-Pulangui hydropower complex, which supplies more than half of Mindanao’s power supply has cut its output to only 635 megawatts of its 982 megawatt capacity due to the heavy siltation of the rivers that power the complex.

Manila Electric Company (Meralco) however warned that even Luzon would face tightness in power supply between now and 2016 unless more power plants are built to meet demand amid a projected strong economic growth.