Press Release
March 15, 2010


DAVAO CITY - Senator Ramon Bong Revilla, Jr. today urged the government to give lucrative incentives to investors that will encourage them to put up power generating projects in Mindanao to address the power crisis in the provinces.

In a five-day visit to the southern Philippines, Bong Revilla said there are limited power plant projects that will sustain the electric needs of the consumers.

"Investors are discouraged to invest in power generation projects in this island because of the low price of electricity here," he said. Mindanao has the lowest power rates compared to Luzon and Visayas.

Bong Revilla cited that under the RA 9513, known as Renewable Energy Act which he co-authored, stakeholders shall be provided with fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for every $2 million spent in developing renewable-energy resources. He also noted that investors shall be given a seven-year income tax holiday.

"They should be made aware of these kinds of incentives so that the cost of putting up power projects that will provide energy shall not pass to the consumers and maintain the low electricity cost here," he explained.

Currently, provinces in Mindanao is experiencing rotational brownouts from four to five hours a day as the island's power plants which is supposed to generate 1,877.73 mw only produced 808 mw.

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) said Mindanao's power deficit was due to low elevation of water reservoirs in hydro-electric plants as a result of El Nino-induce dry spell.

It was learned that the last government's energy project was in 1998. There was no other power plant undertaking following that.

"Mindanao is rich in natural resources that can sustain hydrothermal and geothermal to provide electricity in the southern part of the country, but the problem is no one is investing," the senator said.

He expressed the belief that the Philippines can have a sustainable energy through the use of biomass, solar, hydro and wind with an active participation of investors.

He stressed that the government should seriously address the power problem in Mindanao because the absence of the same means less investment, which affect the creation employment and revenues of the local government, which can affect quality services to the constituents.

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