MANILA – Raul Concepcion, chairperson of Government Watch, has expressed alarm over the two to four hour daily power outages in some parts of Visayas and Mindanao.
Concepcion, who is also the chairperson of leading appliance manufacturer Concepcion Industries Inc., received reports from their provincial offices in Cebu, Cagayan de Oro and Davao that these areas had been suffering daily brownouts.
“I realize that the local government units and other government agencies are still conducting relief and search operations in these areas. However, summer is fast approaching and the brownouts situation might worsen if government does not move fast in this regard”, Concepcion said.
He said business establishments and residents have expressed concern that the brownouts might extend to eight hours daily, especially because they experienced drought during the summer months.
Concepcion urged government to open the dams in the affected areas so that water can be utilized to generate power.
He said that during the rainy season, the water in the dams would be replaced and could build up reserves.
“I am optimistic that if we work together, we can find a quick solution to the situation and help our countrymen in these areas to cushion the impact of these brownouts and also the ever increasing cost of oil”, Concepcion said.
Former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri also warned of “catastrophic brownouts” in Mindanao unless the government moves fast enough to address the power shortage.
Zubiri, in a letter to Energy Secretary Jose Almendras, said the brownouts "could worsen into power outages of up to eight hours by April, on account of increased demand associated with the summer season.”
“The people of Mindanao find it increasingly burdensome to carry out our daily household and business activities, let alone grow our employment-generating industries, in light of the highly disruptive power outages,” he said.
“Government may have to willfully encourage entities seeking to avail of Renewable Energy Law incentives to go to Mindanao, where there is a clear and urgent lack of reliable generating capacity, instead of installing their facilities in Luzon or the Visayas, which both have ample power supplies,” Zubiri said.*PNA