Ensure stable power supply in Mindanao, biz sector tells NEDA

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/28 January) – Basic infrastructures, including stable power supply, topped the concerns raised by participants from the business sector during the regional consultation on the country’s development plan for the next six years, a National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) official said.

Miguel Herrera, NEDA-XI Plan and Policy Formulation director, told MindaNews the business sector wanted these concerns to be addressed in the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) for 2011-2016.

Herrera said that in the consultation held in this city a few weeks ago the participants particularly cited doubts on the capacity and efficiency of the seaports and the number and quality of roads, especially the farm to market roads.

“The doubt on power stability is not just a problem in the region but in the entire Mindanao,” the official said.

Last year, a power shortage that affected most provinces of Mindanao and blamed on the El Nino phenomenon resulted in rotational power curtailment.

During the Mindanao Power Summit in December 2009, an official of the Mindanao Business Council said: “We have here a situation that clearly leads to a power crisis that would greatly affect the economy of Mindanao five years from now. Clearly, a power crisis looms in the south.”

Business sector participants also identified yet again the high cost of shipping and doing business with the local government units as one of the drawbacks of the region, Herrera said.

“They are disturbed on the matter that requirements of business permits and other documents in various LGUs that are not standardized, “he said.

The MTPDP 2011-2016 embodies President Benigno S. Aquino III’s “Social Contract with the Filipino People.”

The plan deals on policy, industry competitiveness, infrastructure development, good governance and environment protection, among others.

The regional consultation was attended by executives of the Regional Development Council, representatives from regional government agencies, government-owned and controlled corporations, business groups, academe, civil society organizations, and local executive and legislative officials. (Rico Biliran/MindaNews)