Press Release
March 4, 2016


IPIL, ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY--Leading presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe said the national government should help secure the transmission towers of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), which have been the target of bombings by different groups.

Speaking to media in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, Poe said that even with sufficient supply of energy in the coming years, the power problem in Mindanao would not be solved if the transmission towers continue to be bombed or burned.

"Dapat masiguro na hindi binobomba itong mga power transmission lines na ito kasi 'pag binomba ito, magkakaroon na naman ng power interruptions," said Poe, who is visiting different cities in Zamboanga today with her running mate, Sen. Francis Escudero.

Early this year, Poe called on the government's security cluster to convene and discuss how the continued attacks on power transmitters in Mindanao can be stopped. She also asked local governments in the region to work with the NGCP in ending hostilities with some landowners.

Last year, 16 towers of NGCP were bombed, causing power interruptions in various Mindanao provinces. Restoring power has posed a problem for the NGCP because uncooperative landowners refuse to let the linemen repair the toppled transmission towers.

In the first three weeks of 2016, two of the NGCP's transmitters--one in Sultan Kudarat and one in Lanao del Sur--were bombed within five days of each other. A transmission pole in Sultan Kudarat was also burned on January 23.

On March 1, Tower 63 of Kabacan-Sultan Kudarat in Cotabato was bombed but not toppled. It was the second time the same tower was attacked this year.

The top presidential candidate said it was imperative for the government to ensure the security and capacity of the NGCP towers as more power plants are expected to be functional next year.

In particular, Poe pushed for the establishment of combined AFP and PNP group to protect the NGCP citing that electricity is a core factor in economic advancement, investment generation and community development.

At least 11 power plants that are being built in Mindanao would go online in the next four years, providing at least 675 MW of power, according to reports.

"Ang dapat siguraduhin ay ito: hindi lamang magkaroon ng supply ng kuryente kundi manatiling mura ang presyo ng kuryente. Dito sa Mindanao marami nang dinaragdag; by 2017 matatapos na ang mga power plant na 'yan, ang supply ninyo ay dodoble," Poe said at the press conference in Sibugay Grand Plaza Hotel.

"Sa pagkakataon na yun, dapat siguraduhin na ang transmission lines n'yo ay maayos. Kasi may supply ka nga ng kuryente kung di naman nakakaabot kuryente, bale wala. So kailangan 'yung mga transmission grids, ma-check, madagdagan, para kaya ang supply ng power," she said.

Poe, who vowed to allocate 30 percent of the national budget for Mindanao if she wins, said alternative sources of energy should be developed to avoid the "environmentally questionable" construction of more coal power plants.

"Ang laki ng potential sa alternative sources of energy: solar, wind, hydro. Meron pa tayong 17,000 MW untapped sa hydro at kung hindi ako nagkakamali, meron pang 90,000 MW pagdating sa wind. Marami talagang pagkuhaan," she said.

News Latest News Feed