No quick fixes to Mindanao power problem – Aquino
President Aquino says there are no quick fixes to the power supply problem in Mindanao, which was caused by 30 years of neglect by previous administrations

POWER PROBLEM. President Aquino blames the past administrations for neglecting the power supply issue in Mindanao

MANILA, Philippines – There are no quick fixes to the  power supply problem in Mindanao, which was caused by 30 years of neglect by previous administrations, President Aquino said on Sunday, March 25.

“Let’s admit that it had been neglected,” Mr. Aquino said an impromptu speech at the birthday celebration of Rep. Erineo Maliksi of the Third District of Cavite.

He added, however, that the government is working hard to resolve the problem and has allocated P2.6 billion to repair the Agus VI hydroelectric power plant in Lanao del Norte.

The 59-year-old Agus power plant was commissioned in 1953.

He said the plant’s mechanical parts are good for only 30 years before replacement and that “they [previous administrations] should have fixed this long ago so that I would not have deal with it now.”

“The repairs would take 30 months,” he said.

The President stressed that he “never promised that in 2 days all of these [repairs ad construction] will be done. We are not changing a light bulb. We are replacing components of a hydroelectric dam. The coal-generating plant, you have to level the lot, construct the building. Can you buy a building that can house a factory from Home Depot?”

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a news briefing that it would be up to the people of Mindanao if they would be willing to cooperate with the Department of Energy in terms pursuing some solutions that the DOE had presented, including having a mix of power sources.

“There are things that we are doing right now but, at the same time, a solution is offered by which it’s either you can join us or if you choose to refuse, it will be to your detriment also,” Lacierda said.

He said that so far, the people of Mindanao and the electric cooperatives seem to be “very open to the solution because they realize that this is the best way of addressing the power situation between 2012 and 2013.” –