Businessmen in Panglao including hotel and resort owners are mulling to take the town’s power concerns in their own hands as Bohol continues to scramble for energy sources.
Dr. Doloreich Dumuluan who owns the Dumaluan Beach Resort in Panglao bared that several resort owners are considering to put up their own “power station.”
“We are too dependent on Leyte. This happened during the earthquake. This happened during Yolanda,” he said lamenting outages due to damages sustained by power plants in quake-hit Leyte where Bohol sources most of its power.
According to Dumaluan, the plan had already been tackled with Panglao Island Chamber of Commerce, Inc. (PICCI) president and Bellevue Resort manager Rommel Gonzales.
“I and Romel [Gonzales] of the PICCI long planned that if BOHECO [Bohol Electric Cooperative 1] does not move to provide supply, we will be forced to secure our own power and buy a power station,” he said.
Dumaluan lamented the electric cooperative’s lack of power reserve, which he said, is mostly needed in Panglao and Dauis, Bohol’s “jewels of tourism.”
“The island ignites economic activity in our province of Bohol. We should be protected by a surplus of power,” he said.
The towns of Panglao and Dauis in Panglao Island have a power demand of approximately six megawatts.
Given the high electricity requirement, Dumuluan pointed out the need for a steady 10-MW power supply for the tourist island.
“There should be 10 MW and for the next 10 years, they should add another 10. We should anticipate the progress that would happen in Panglao,” he said.
Meanwhile, the lack of electricity in the resort town had also reportedly compounded to the effects of the Abu Sayyaf entry into Bohol in April and the conflict in distant Marawi City affecting tourist arrivals.
“I have a contact Korean travel agency, and 80 percent of their supposed guest cancelled their trips,” he said.
However, Dumuluan assured that concerned entities have already been made aware of the province’s safety as contingency measures on peace and order were immediately laid out by the provincial government.
The province of Bohol, based on the latest report of the Bohol Tourism Office, tallied over 1 million tourist arrivals in 2016.
It was the first time that the province breached the million mark.
While most of the visitors were local tourists, more foreigners are expected to flock to the province after the opening of the New Bohol Airport in Panglao in 2018. (Allen Doydora)