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Davao City, Philippines

Joji Ilagan-Bian underscores stable power supply in Mindanao

November 02, 2020 - Monday 9:11 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image Business and tourism leader Joji Ilagan-Bian. (Photo courtesy of Joji Iligan-Bian)

DAVAO CITY--A business leader here said having stable power supply remains crucial in Davao Region as well as Mindanao's industrial, manufacturing, and tourism sectors.

Business and tourism leader Joji Ilagan-Bian lamented in an interview Monday that the sporadic power supply in several areas in Mindanao has been a perennial problem to various industries.

“For an economy to continue to develop and grow, it’s essential to have a very stable power supply. This fuels our economy, particularly the industrial and manufacturing sectors. A country's GDP (gross domestic product) is also affected by the stability of its power supply,” said Bian, a former chairperson of the Mindanao Business Council.

Bian said frequent brownouts and low service connections, generation and transmission problems, and high cost of power have all been "direly affecting the investments and economic prosperity of the affected areas".

“It’s a more complex problem that has been haunting the business community, (and it) would require a practical solution,” she said.

Based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) last year, the country’s top agricultural exports are grown mostly in Mindanao or are produced in large quantities on the island. The strong export demand adds to an expanding industrial and manufacturing sector in the Davao Region and Mindanao.

Bian said the increase in demand would "undoubtedly lead to added pressure" on the region and the island’s power supply, making it more important to have robust power infrastructure in place.

She said the government should look into the "system and technology strategies" to reduce the cost of power so that businesses can survive and thrive especially in a post-pandemic environment.

Meanwhile, Bian noted that tourism spots across the Davao Region are now gradually opening up while strictly observing health protocols.

"Along with the spike in tourist traffic is the corresponding increase in the demand for power and other utilities," she said.

Bian also added that infrastructure does not only refer to the bridge that is set to be built to connect the Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS) and this city.

“Infrastructure also means human resources, accommodation facilities, and environment management, key areas that must also be prioritized. Even the social impact must also be carefully studied,” she said. Prexx Marnie Kate Trozo