MANILA — Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV on Wednesday proposed the opening of the electricity market to small independent power producers (IPPs) to help solve the power shortage in Mindanao.
The senator expressed alarm over the rotating brownouts in Mindanao, saying it is bad for business and development of the region.
”Mindanao brownout is bad for business and development,” Aquino, chairman of the Senate committee on trade, commerce and entrepreneurship, said.
“We cannot accept that businesses are losing millions of pesos every day. Lost income will lead to loss of jobs and other livelihood opportunities for our people,” he added.
The young senator said opening the electricity market to small IPPs will help solve the power problem in the area.
“A more competitive and a level-playing market would provide better service to our people,” said Aquino, who recently visited Davao to check on businesses in the area.
Aquino said it is not acceptable that prospective investors would lose interest in the region because of the long power interruption.
“These power interruptions are putting Mindanao’s present and future economic development at risk so we must address this now,” the senator emphasized.
“How can Mindanao be the next big thing in business if electricity supply continues to be a problem,” he added.
Aquino made the reaction after the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CDOCCI) revealed that Mindanao businesses are losing an estimated P30 million per hour to power interruption.
“With an average of six hours of power interruption, Mindanao businesses are losing P180 million per day. This is really bad for business and bad for prospective investors,” Aquino said.