Atty. Alex Lacson: Gov't Negligence = Power Crisis
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Last Monday (March 22), I attended Atty. Alex "Pinoy" Lacson's presscon at the LP Senatorial HQ at the Manila Bank Bldg. along Ayala Ave., Makati City.
Atty. Lacson narrated that during his visit to Kidapawan City (capital of North Cotabato) last week, there was no electricity during his meeting with local officials. It was still brownout when the meeting concluded. Local executives confirmed they are experiencing six to ten hours brownouts. Lamenting the lack of central planning to address the energy crisis, he declared:
"Mindanao is growing both economically and socially, The Arroyo administration should have anticipated that its energy requirements would actually increase. Evidently, there was no planning."
"Pinoy" Lacson agreed with Mindanao-based executives that short-term solutions are needed such as buying power barges. In addition, long-term solutions should be explored, including tapping wind energy, building additional geothermal plants and rehabilitating existing power plants.
Questionable Use of 10 Billion Calamity Fund
Confounding the Mindanao power in crisis is the questionable use of the 10 billion calamity meant to address the worsening blackouts. Out of the this fund, each affected province was allotted close to 1 billion pesos to buy or lease generator sets.
However, reports have reached Lacson that administration-backed local candidates are using the calamity fund to instead buy rice, food stuff and even appliances to entice their constituents to vote for them in the coming May 10 elections. This prompted Lacson to tell Mindanaoans:
"Kailangang tutukan ito ng ating may opisyales at bantayan ng taong bayan para hindi na naman manakaw ang pondong kinakailangan ng Mindanao. Let's literally and figuratively shine a light on this issue."