By Jefferson Antiporda | The Manila Times
SENATOR Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Monday a substitute Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) he will introduce once Congress opens next month will help ensure energy security in Mindanao and the rest of the country.
Marcos, chair of the Senate Committee on Local Government, said he is thoroughly studying the implications of a BBL provision that gives the Bangsamoro government control and supervision over the waters of Lake Lanao.
If Lake Lanao is allowed to be claimed as part of the Bangsamoro territory, control over it would be divested from the National Power Corporation (NPC) and go to the Bangsamoro government, Marcos warned.
The senator explained that Lake Lanao is a critical water resource for the entire island of Mindanao and provides over 50 percent of the region’s energy supply generated from six power plants in the Agus River, the lake’s outlet. These power plants are also connected to the national grid.
The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) has already asked Congress to exclude Lake Lanao from the Bangsamoro territory, insisting that control over its waters should be kept under the authority of the national government for the communal use and benefit of the entire Mindanao.
“I am doing my part as a legislator to help solve this serious problem.
We are doing everything to craft a BBL that will be inclusive and beneficial to the whole of Mindanao and our entire nation,” Marcos said, adding that rotating brownouts being experienced in Mindanao not only inconvenience people but also hinder progress and development in the area.
In addition to his efforts to craft a better BBL, Marcos said he is also helping electric cooperatives file for tax breaks and other privileges to help them produce better electric service.
Proper coordination between the government and the private sector is needed to remedy the power supply problems of Mindanao, he added, citing how the National Electrification Administration (NEA) cooperated with electric cooperatives in the country to ensure no brownouts during the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight last May.