Bukidnon businessmen convening forum on electric power situation

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/ 09 November)—A forum on the power situation in Mindanao is slated here on November 21, organized by the Bukidnon Kaamulan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (BKCCII) as part of its one-day general membership meeting.

Roderico Bioco, BKCCII president, said Friday it’s high time to involve the local business community in the electric power issue confronting Mindanao.

“It is a critical and serious issue confronting us now,” Bioco said in a text message.

The BKCCII, organized in July this year, lined up seven presentations delving on the topic “Mindanao power sector situation, program, projects and activities to address the power crisis in Mindanao.”

Invited to give presentations to the forum were Energy Undersecretary Jose Layug; Energy Regulatory Commission executive director Francisco Saturnino C. Juan; Rudy Brioso, vice president for Mindanao of the National Power Corporation; Engr. Eugene Bicar, head of the Mindanao Systems Operations of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines; Maria Theresa Alegrio, community relations manager of STEAG State Power Inc; and Fr. Pedro Walpole, chair of the Environmental Science for Social Change.

Lourdes Ellen N, Kionisala, Cagayan de Oro Board of Investments officer in-charge, is expected to give a presentation on fiscal incentives for alternative and renewable energy projects.

Alegrio, who is also the president of the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation (CDOCCIF), will present the “Trends and Thrusts of Business Development in Northern Mindanao.”

Linda O. Boniao, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region 10 officer-in-charge, is also expected in the event, which was organized with the cooperation of the Trade department.

Representatives from the Bukidnon Second Electric Cooperative, First Bukidnon Electric Cooperative, the Cagayan de Oro Power and Light Company, CDOCCIF, the Busco Sugar Milling Co, Inc. and the Crystal Sugar Milling Co., were also expected to compose the panel of reactors.

The participants have a scheduled luncheon meeting with Bukidnon Gov. Alex Calingasan.

Following it will be presentations on the National Industry Cluster Capability Enhancement Program by Venus Villanueva, chief of DTI-Bukidnon Business Development Division and Chamber Development Program, by Lordelie Enjambre, executive director of CDOCCIF

The side events of the meeting include the product exhibit of micro, small and medium enterprises and one-on-one consultations with financing institutions and national government agencies.

Junar Merla, DTI-Bukidnon senior trade and industry development specialist, said this is the first time Bukidnon’s private sector is taking the lead in looking at the electric power industry issues.

The Bukidnon Power Commission (BPC), composed of the provincial government and the two electric cooperatives of Bukidnon, earlier backed the proposal of the Mindanao Development Authority to create the Mindanao Power Corporation, which shall be owned and controlled by the government.

In its previous summits, the BPC had proposed to raise a capital to acquire Pulangi IV. In June, it passed a position paper renewing the call to create a Bukidnon Power Corp., which will rehabilitate and eventually manage the hydropower plant. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)