Duterte tells power operators: Beyond profits, provide people affordable electricity

Published October 16, 2019, 8:45 PM

by Martin Sadongdong & Antonio Colina

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

President Duterte reminded power operators of their objective to provide the public affordable energy and protect the environment and the welfare of their host communities.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the decommissioning of the arms and forces of the 727 Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa - Pilipinas/ Revolutionary Proletarian Army/ Alex Boncayao Brigade - Tabara-Paduano Group (RPM-P/RPA/ABB-TPG) at the Camp General Macario B. Peralta, Jr. in Jamindan, Capiz on September 19, 2019. (ALFRED FRIAS / PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Duterte made the statement as he led the switch-on celebration of the San Buenaventura 500-megawatt Supercritical coal-fired power plant in Taguig City Wednesday evening.

In his speech, Duterte said he was pleased with the construction of the environment-friendly power generation facility which will not only help in the development of communities in Mauban, Quezon, but also augment the current level of power supply in Luzon.

He said the success of the facility was a testament to the vast potential of the private sector to help the government in addressing deficiencies in energy generation and distribution across the country.

“I am pleased that the 500 megawatts of power that this power plant will supply to the Luzon grid will be the product of the state-of-the-art ‘supercritical technology’ that will ensure increased efficiency while minimizing toxic emissions that can harm the environment,” he said.

“As we look forward to the future of power generation in the Philippines with much optimism, let me assure our partners in the private sector that this administration remains committed in harnessing the potential of sustainable [and] renewable energy in driving the growth of our economy,” he added.

However, the President reminded power generators that they should not only keep in mind how to earn money but also how to help the public.

“Let me, therefore, take this opportunity to encourage everyone, especially the people behind San Buenaventura Power, to look especially behind the aspect of power generation. And always keep in mind that beyond profits, your primary objective is to provide reliable and affordable electricity to our people,” Duterte said.

He then directed the Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to make sure that power generators follow the law.

The President also assured the private sector that they can conduct their business freely as long as they take care of the environment and the communities where they are located.

“I am thus directing our relevant government agencies, especially the [DENR] and the DOE, to remain vigilant in monitoring the compliance of power generation companies with existing laws and regulations,” Duterte said.

“With substantial reforms that this administration has instituted in the past three years, I can assure you that you’ll be able to pursue more effective and efficient business strategies as long as you give utmost importance for the protection of our environment and the welfare of your host communities,” he added.

The SBPL supercritical coal-fired power plant is the first of its kind in the country. It is also said to be the country’s most advanced operational coal plant that utilizes a high-efficiency, low-emissions coal technology.