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Decisive Action Needed, Not Emergency Powers – LOREN

March 4, 2010

NP-NPC-LDP VICE PRESIDENTIAL BET LOREN LEGARDA MET YESTERDAY WITH THE AGUSAN DEL NORTE ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE (ANECO) TO DISCUSS WAYS TO EASE THE POWER WOES IN THE REGION, AND STRESSED THAT DECISIVE ACTION – NOT EMERGENCY POWERS – IS NECESSARY TO SOLVE THE POWER PROBLEM.
“We can’t blame El Niño and climate change alone. That’s just one part of the problem. Government should have foreseen and prepared for the drought. The country’s leadership should focus on implementing the Renewable Energy Law because it has been more than a decade since we invested on power in Mindanao,” said Loren.
Loren said Mindanao’s only power source is Agus Dam in Lanao del Sur, and that the Agus Dam and Ma. Cristina Falls are already heavily depleted.
ANECO agreed that government should have installed power plants and utilized the region’s renewable energy sources as a long term solution to the power problem.
Loren outlined urgent measures such as making an inventory of all alternative power sources in the region and immediately rehabilitating them. She also emphasized the importance of improving electric cooperatives.
“We cannot speak of development if we do not have power. We cannot speak of eradicating poverty if we cannot implement electrification in off-grid remote areas. How will business, commerce and schools operate if we have power outages 5-8 hours per day?” she said.
“In this highly political season, we should demand from our leaders to take decisive actions. We need concrete and sure solutions to the country’s power problems,” said Loren, who chairs the Senate Climate Change Committee.