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Power Generation Should Be Prioritized by Next Administration – Legarda

March 11, 2010

“POWER GENERATION PROJECTS SHOULD BE ONE OF THE PRIORITIES OF THE NEXT ADMINISTRATION, ESPECIALLY IN AREAS THAT HAVE A LOT OF POTENTIAL FOR GROWTH,” NP-NPC-LDP VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE LOREN LEGARDA SAID ON THURSDAY, A DAY BEFORE HER SCHEDULED FLIGHT TO CATARMAN, THE CAPITAL TOWN OF NORTHERN LEYTE.
Legarda visited such areas in Mindanao last week as part of her campaign, along with running mate Manny Villar. She was struck by the power crisis in the area, particularly the Caraga Region.
“It’s a similar situation in Northern Leyte, which I hear has been having frequent brownouts that last for half a day,” she said. “The Arroyo administration, particularly the Energy department has been blaming the drought caused by El Niño for the power crisis. But in the course of our sorties, I’ve seen a pattern that suggests that this administration has been negligent in maintaining power plants and too slow in having news ones built.”
Northern Samar has been experiencing brownouts for about a year now.
Rep. Emil Ong has been urging the Department of Energy to act quickly to solve the problem, especially since the country would hold its first automated elections.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo vowed to end the perennial problem when she visited the province last year to inaugurate the Las Navas Bridge.
She also announced plans for the upgrading of the transmission lines through the 138 KV Wright-Calbayog backbone transmission system.
“The President made a promise, but nothing really has been done. Clearly, the government must move faster to catch up with the rising demand for power,” Legarda said. “To do that, we must have foresight and a long-range view.”
Northern Samar’s existing supply line is a 69 KV wood pole base system.
The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has started to bid out the transmission line component of the Wright-Calbayog transmission line on June 4. T8he timetable for the completion of the Wright-Calbayog transmission line will be on the fourth quarter of 2010.
When completed, the perennial power interruptions in Northern Samar will not be totally be avoided but will be significantly reduce by 30 to 60 percent.
Of the 24 towns in Northern Samar, only 16 are energized.