The power outage being experienced in certain parts of Mindanao had been engendering suggestions and opinions from different sectors. Government is open to all these calls and studying all options closely.
From Negros Oriental, the governor, on his part, suggested finding additional or alternative sources of electricity to address the power crisis in Mindanao.
Governor Roel Degamo said an immediate alternative power source is critical in addressing the power shortage now plaguing Mindanao, which if left unsolved, could be felt nationwide.
“What is important right now is for the government to immediately look for another power source on top of geothermal and hydro power plants,” he said.
The town of Valencia in Negros Oriental is host to a geothermal power station which generates electricity for the power needs of Negros and Panay islands and parts of Cebu.
The geothermal power plant, once operated by the National Power Corporation, is now maintained by the Energy Development Corporation (EDC), a sister company of the Green Core Corporation owned by the Lopezes Group of Companies.
The national government is now studying proposals on various energy sources following the Mindanao Energy Summit held April 13 in Davao City that brought together consumers, and business and political leaders to discuss possible solutions to the energy problem such as nuclear power, coal-fired, and hydro power plants.
Degamo said he is in favor of nuclear power as an alternative source of electricity because it is “safe, clean, and cheaper,” compared to coal-fired power plants.
The governor expressed this during a recent forum with Mark Cojuangco, former representative of the fifth district of Pangasinan, who flew to Dumaguete City to discuss with local government officials his proposal to use nuclear energy to solve the power shortage in the Mindanao area.
Cojuangco said he is pushing for the opening of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP), which he said is the best option to address the power shortage in Mindanao and the country.
President Benigno S. Aquino III, however, is wary of having nuclear power as a solution to the power situation in Mindanao in view of the safety risks.
“When you had the Japanese who had their tragedy in Fukushima, you have the Germans rethinking about utilizing nuclear energy and when we look at how meticulous and studious they are in following all of the rules and regulations to ensure safety, and we are not as meticulous and studious, we really have to study the matter very, very well,” the President said. (RMN-PIA 7, Negros Oriental)