By JUNE S. BLANCO
REP. Erico Aristotle Aumentado has expressed alarm over the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines’ (NGCP) pronouncement, through Cebu and Bohol Information Officer Betty Martinez, that Bohol’s power supply is now “critical”.
Aumentdo said he is also saddened with the development, because as early as the last term as governor of his namesake father and immediate congressional predecessor Erico Boyles Aumentado, the lack of power to meet the province’s need with the looming implementation and completion of the Panglao Bohol International Airport was already recognized.
The solon had expected that the Provincial Government would have already foreseen this considering that it had continuously invited investors to locate in Bohol.
As the investors streamed in, he said, the need for additional power, and faster internet, should have been anticipated already so that these will not reach such critical point.
Investors continue to stream in, but their respective operations might be hampered due to the lack of sustainable power, or the additional cost of maintaining power generators.
“To think that the airport in Panglao is not yet operating its navigational equipment for nighttime operations, the critical power situation simply means that Bohol is not yet ready for the big time,” he said.
Basic infrastructure like power and communications should be in place to make investors seriously consider locating in Bohol.
The slow internet has made business process outsourcing (BPO) for call centers similarly slow. The BPOs could have been tapped for more employment.
Additionally, he said, President Pinoy should have fast-tracked the matching of power production with the projection, especially with the implementation and impending operationalization of the airport in Panglao.
And, with the creation of the Bohol Energy Development Advisory Group (BEDAG), the Provincial Government should already have embarked into the harnessing of renewable energy like wind, tide or wave, and biomass.
The province is now too dependent on coal energy. This should not be the case, as Bohol is an eco-cultural province, as first pronounced during the incumbency of then Gov. Rene Relampagos and then Vice Gov. Edgardo Chatto.
Power was still comfortably available then, but a shortage now threatens.
Aumentado is now pushing for the development of the Cantakoy Falls in Danao town as additional power source.