NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
The much-needed power from Cebu’s coal-powered plant badly needs assistance in fast-tracking this major power interconnection between Bohol and Cebu, according to Gov-elect Aris Aumentado.
Two weeks before his assumption into office, the incoming governor did his homework by meeting in Manila Anthony L. Almeda, president of the National Grid Corp of the Phils (NGCP) to find out what is causing the delay in its timeline to bring power through submarine cables.
The briefing provided the governor with an overview of things needed to fast-track the interconnection via submarine cable from Argao, Cabu to Maribojoc, Bohol.
The NGCP top executive informed Aumentado that the delay was due to the non-action of the local government units to assist NGCP to get through the problem of getting the much-needed right of way.
Aumentado immediately called the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to properly identify the ownerships of the affected areas causing the delay, both on the side of Maribojoc town and on Argao Cebu.
He will make representations with Cebu Gov Gwen Garcia and Mayor Romulo Anuta of Mariojoc town.
Gov-elect Aumentado said he wants this power interconnection completed ahead of schedule as he welcomed Manila investors to open their businesses in the province in order to provide employment to the Boholanos
POWER TASK FORCE
Gov-elect Aumentado will soon create a Power Task Force to guide and assist the province in finding the right solution on the need of a sustainable power in the province.
“With the scarcity of power, no investors will come to help fuel a better economy here,” he stressed.
Former president of the National Power Corp (NAPOCOR) Guido Delgado who is a Boholano by affinity is eyed to head the power task force.
The incoming governor met in Manila last week two power executives, Janseen dela Cruz of Power Prime Metro Holdings Corp and Eric Francia of Ayala Corp Energy to discuss possible assistance to fill in the need for a stable power in the province.
Aumentado is concerned about the need to have a land based power here in order to prevent power blackouts whenever the Tongonan (Leyte) Geothermal Power Plant cuts off its supply usually caused by typhoons.
He recalled the agony when Bohol experienced a total blackout after super typhoon Yolanda hit Leyte thereby cutting power supply to Bohol. This happened again when typhoon Odette struck Bohol and Leyte last December.
THe Cebu-Bohol power interconnection will eventually save the province from power blackouts while awaiting the establishment of the first land based power source in the province.
Gov-elect Aumentado flew to Manila last week to have initial dialogue with top businessmen Frederick Go, president of Robinson and Lucio Co of Puregold, PBCom and S & R.
He likewise met with Sungsup Ra of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) , Man Hwan Park of EXIM Bank as well as with Frederick Go of Robinson Land.
Earlier, Manny Pangilinan and the Gokongwei’s of Cebu Pacific and Robinson Mall met with the new Bohol governor.
These companies were invited for the Business Dialogue on June 30 at Modala Resort.