Agus-Pulangi plant rehab will help Marcos admin achieve two goals; Pulong explains

Rehabilitating the old Agus-Pulangi hydropower plants in Mindanao will allow the Marcos administration to kill two birds with one stone, says Davao City 1st district Rep. Paolo Duterte.

Davao City 1st district Rep. Paolo "Pulong" Duterte (PNA)

According to Duterte, rehabilitating the decades-old facilities of the Agus-Pulangi power plants will jumpstart the country’s process of transitioning to low-emission energy sources and will contribute to its commitment of helping the world overturn the devastating effects of climate change.

“If we want to be a global leader in climate action, we can start with rehabilitating the Agus-Pulangi power plants in Mindanao," he said.

Aside from this, the proposed rehabilitation will also "accelerate our shift to clean energy sources" by reducing Mindanao’s reliance on coal, Duterte pointed out.

Duterte made these remarks in response to Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Benjamin Diokno’s recent pronouncement before a high-level Group of Twenty (G20) forum that the administration of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. will continue to pursue a “whole-of-nation” approach in mitigating climate risks.

The Philippines, Diokno said, is also committed to become a world leader in the fight against the climate crisis.

Duterte said the Agus-Pulangi rehabilitation project will also help fulfill President Marcos's goal of developing more renewable energy (RE) sources to meet the country’s power generation requirements.

Under the government’s National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) 2020-2040, the Department of Energy (DOE) is targeting to increase the share of RE sources in the power generation mix to at least 35 percent by 2030 and to more than 50 percent by 2040.

The Davao City lawmaker pointed out that prioritizing the rehabilitation of the Agus-Pulangi hydropower complex will also enable Mindanao to meet the ever-expanding energy requirements of its fast-growing economy.

“The infrastructure boom in Davao City and other parts of Mindanao has led to the emergence of many growth centers in the island. This means a corresponding increase in the energy we need to power our residential, commercial and industrial developments,” Duterte said.

Last week, the Center for Ecology, Energy and Development (CEED), an organization advocating the use of RE sources, called on the Marcos administration to start the rehabilitation of the Agus-Pulangi hydropower complex in order to reduce Mindanao’s dependence on coal-fired power plants.

Composed of seven hydropower plants, the Agus-Pulangi complex has an installed capacity of 1,001 megawatts (MW), but only 600 to 700 MW is available because of the limitations of its old facilities.

The administration of former President Rodrigo Duterte had planned the rehabilitation project of the plants in two stages. The first phase, involving the rehabilitation of four plants, is expected to generate 417 MW.

The rest of the plants will comprise the second stage of the rehabilitation to generate an additional 512 MW. The project has been turned over to the Marcos administration.