Press Release
November 15, 2023

Bong Go calls on DOE to address brownouts and monitor electrification in remote areas

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, during the Senate plenary debates on the 2024 budget proposal of the Department of Energy (DOE) on Monday, November 13, raised significant concerns about the lack of electrification in remote areas of the country and emphasized the urgent need for addressing this gap. He also expressed his concern on recurring brownouts in select areas around the country.

In his manifestation, Go highlighted DOE's integral contribution to lighting up households across the Philippines, noting the profound impact of their work on the lives of citizens.

"The DOE plays a pivotal role in the electrification of households across the nation, particularly in far-flung sitios and barangays," said Go.

"This commitment is not just a matter of convenience but one that directly impacts the lives of our fellow citizens, bringing light to even the remotest corners of our archipelago," he added.

However, Go also brought attention to the ongoing issue of power outages in various regions, including in Samal, Davao Del Norte as well as in Palawan, and Mindoro. He reminded the DOE of the importance of monitoring these areas to prevent further brownouts.

He stated, "Konting (manifestation) lang po, hindi ito question kundi paalala lang po sa ating Department of Energy to monitor areas po, yung mga lugar na nagkakaroon pa rin po ng brownout."

Go also cited a previous Senate hearing that focused on the brownouts in Samal. He noted that while there had been some improvement after the hearing, the issue was still not fully resolved.

"During one of our hearings po ay dininig natin ang brownouts sa Samal. After the hearing, medyo nabawasan na po ang brownout. Pero still, may konti konti pa," said Go.

He then extended his reminder to DOE, urging them to check and monitor compliance to avoid further brownouts. He noted the inconvenience caused by these incidents to ordinary Filipinos especially to their livelihood.

"Yun lang naman po, gusto lang nating (ipaalala), pakicheck, pakimonitor kung na-comply na po, (para maiwasan) yung mga brownouts," he said.

During a public hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on Energy on July 12, Go emphasized the urgency of finding a solution to Davao del Norte's power supply outages. He also appealed to the Northern Davao Electric Cooperative (NORDECO) to provide immediate solutions to the issue.

Go previously expressed his dismay and concern over the unresolved power outages in Davao del Norte, which have led to the damage of critical medical equipment in the region's health facilities. Two Magnetic Resonance Imaging machines, four computerized tomography scans, and one medical linear accelerator machine at the Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC) in Tagum City are now reportedly non-operational due to power-related damage.

Go described the situation as "dire and unacceptable," even as he cited an incident where a patient was unable to receive critical MRI services at DRMC due to power-related equipment failures.

Finally, Go expanded the scope of his concern to include other regions that might be experiencing similar problems. He specifically mentioned Palawan and Mindoro, recognizing that these more remote areas might not be under close observation.

"Not only sa Samal, but narinig ko before, sa Palawan, meron pa ba? Mindoro, yung mga malalayong lugar na maaaring hindi natin namo-monitor," added the senator.

In his address, the senator expressed concern for the financial burden faced by citizens, especially the less affluent, who are willing to pay for reliable services but suffer appliance damage during power interruptions.

"Yung mga kababayan nating willing naman po magbayad ng tama at sapat, basta mabigyan lang po sila ng maayos na serbisyo. Dahil bawat brownout, nasisira talaga ang mga appliances nilang pinaghirapan," he said.

"Malaking bagay po yun sa mga kababayan nating mahihirap na pinagpawisan po nila yung pagbibili ng kanilang mga appliances," added Go.

Concluding his address, Go reaffirmed his complete support for the DOE, recognizing their efforts and the significance of their work in improving the lives of Filipinos nationwide. "Yun lang po Mr. President, full support po ako sa ating Department of Energy. Maraming salamat po, Mr. President."

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