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Blackouts cripple many Mindanao industries

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DAVAO CITY -- Recurring four to six-hour blackouts in the whole island of Mindanao have crippled many industries the last few months, according to Manuel Boniao, chief executive officer and president of Bonbor Poultry Corp. which runs a number of poultry farms in northern Mindanao.
Boniao said these blackouts are hampering the operations and production activities of large factories and manufacturing plants not only in northern Mindanao region but all over the southern Philippine island.
“This is something we’re beginning to live with -- to be able to continue our operations in the industry even with these blackouts, “ Boniao said.
Processing and manufacturing plants as well as all other businesses like shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, offices, have invested in their own power generators to continue operating despite the long recurring blackouts in Mindanao’s big cities like Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Zamboanga, General Santos, Butuan, etc., according to Boniao.
The National Power Corporation had warned a few years ago that power failures will start in 2014 since the combined power capacity of the Mindanao power grid can no longer cope with the fast-growing power requirements of the island.
Vicente Lao, one of island’s most prominent businessman who chairs the Mindanao Business Council, had been expressing this concern over the years about the island’s growing power requirements--and the inability of NPC to meet this power demand, unless private investors will start investing in big power plants in Mindanao.
Lao heads the Maharlika Agri-Ventures as CEO and sits as chair of the export market committee of the poultry industry in the northern Mindanao region.
Aboitiz Equity Ventures, which runs some of the country’s biggest power plants in Davao, Cebu and northern Luzon, has already started building a coal-fired power plant in Davao del Sur, in addition to its existing coal-fired power plant in Cagayan de Oro and a small hydro-power plant in Davao City.
Editor In Chief Alfred G. Gabot

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