Strategic approach needed to stabilize Bukidnon power supply – biz group

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/19 November) – Bukidnon’s power stakeholders need to consolidate and arrive at a strategic approach to stabilize power supply in the province in the face of growing competition, Roderico Bioco, president of the Bukidnon Kaamulan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (BKCCII) said.

In a statement, Bioco said the looming shortage and competition endangers Bukidnon’s booming economic activities.

“With uncertainty of power supply, we may lose these opportunities. In fact, even within Mindanao there is intense competition for the limited power supply to secure PPAs (power purchase agreements) from IPPs (independent power producers),” he added.

“With a shortage scenario, competition is more severe. Davao and CDO (Cagayan de Oro) based power distributors have been more aggressive to the detriment of the local power cooperatives,” Bioco stressed.

He said power problems will be more intense and widespread before things get better in three to four years.

“However, following demand for power will increase significantly as several investments are held up temporarily because of availability of reliable and reasonable quality power,” Bioco, owner of the Mindanao Grains Processing Inc, added.

He cited that more feed mills, food processors, livestock farms and factories are in the pipeline.

“We need these facilities to get into Bukidnon to generate jobs, taxes and economic activities,” he said.

He urged local power distributors, local government units, nongovernment organizations, and the business sector to work together for a more strategic approach.

“(This is) not just to overcome the immediate concerns confronting us, but also the long-term challenges,” he added.

The BKCCII has scheduled a one-day general membership meeting to tackle issues facing the electric power industry on Nov.r 21 at the Loiza’s Pavillion here.

Bioco said it was high time to involve the local business community in the issue of electric power.

He said Energy Regulatory Commission Executive Director Francis Saturnino Juan has confirmed to join the chamber’s power forum as “special guest speaker”.

“Atty. Juan can add more teeth to the discussions of the urgent issues on the power sector to formulate resolutions to the worsening power crisis,” Bioco said. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)