PIDS in the News Archived (March 2013)

"The Philippines has large favorable factors because it has macroeconomic stability, abundant natural resources, and a large working-age population. However, it needs to improve its governance, competitiveness and
attractiveness to investments," Dr. Anoop Singh, director of the Asia and Pacific Department of the IMF said. In a recent seminar-forum co-organized by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), the IMF and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Singh also said that growth in the Philippines does not show much robustness as compared to other Asian countries. However, the IMF official said that he is optimistic with the World Economic
Outlook's projected growth of over 6 percent for the Philippines this year. "What needs to be done to raise growth is to have more investments and higher productivity," said Singh.

Author: Mayvelin U. Caraballo
Date: March 31, 2013
Source: Manila Times

Lack of infrastructure and weak investor confidence arising from governance issues, and the weakness in the regulatory environment and investment climate are some of the most binding constraints that affect the industrial sector's growth and the entry of new firms.These, according to the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, are the challenges that must be addressed in order to improve the performance of the industry sector in the Philippines. Rafaelita Aldaba, PIDS senior research fellow and acting vice-president, said in a policy note that there is a need for a new industrial policy to help the government determine measures to strengthen industries and the business environment in which they operate. "Industrial policies are needed to enhance firm productivity, deepen linkages of domestic firms and SMEs with large domestic and multinational companies, and aggressively court more investment. Policies will also be necessary to boost the survival of new entrants and provide assistance for the growth and development of SMEs," the note said. "To enable firms to move up the technology scale, programs should be formulated to improve technological and human resource capabilities as well as to strengthen supply chains," it added. Aldaba said that the role of the government is crucial, as it needs to coordinate policy support measures which will address the obstacles to the entry, exit, and growth of domestic firms, especially SMEs.

Author: Business Insights
Date: March 25, 2013
Source: Malaya

The link between electricity consumption and prosperity is so intuitive and appealing that some studies (such as this one) show how lights at night (as captured by satellite imagery) can play a crucial role in detecting changes in economic growth at the sub- and supra-national levels, especially in countries where official income data are unreliable and hard to obtain. Data on changes in the intensity and scope of lights can also be used to predict long-term trends in economic growth.

Author: JC Punongbayan
Date: March 23, 2013
Source: Rappler.com

The Civil Service Commission (CSC) recognized in 2012 various PhilHealth Local Health Insurance Offices (LHIOS) in different regions in the country due to excellent service it provided to its members. The CSC awarded the 2012 Citizens Satisfaction Center Seal of Excellence to the following: PhilHealth Region IV-B in Batangas City including its LHIO in Puerto Princesa, Palawan; LHIOs in the cities of Bacolod, Kabankalan, and Passi under the PhilHealth Region VI; and in Marawi City under the PhilHealth-ARMM, for an excellent Anti-Red Tape Report Card Survey rating. The survey was conducted in 2012 based on actual feedback from clients visiting and availing of various services from the said offices. Meanwhile, PhilHealth Region VIII Office in Tacloban City has also been recognized by the CSC as a 'Hall of Famer' for their PASADA Awards. The said office also received the 'Galing Likha Kalusugan' award from the Philippine Institute of Development Studies and Center for Health Market Innovation for its PhilHealth Link Project. The said project hastened the verification process of members admitted in provincial hospitals thereby ensuring availment of benefits especially by indigent members. In a related development, PhilHealth Region VI Office was also cited by the Private Hospital Association in Western Visayas for its efforts that "resulted in faster processing of claims and reduced the number of return-to-hospital claims thereby contributing to a successful relationship among private hospitals in Western Visayas as partners in the healthcare industry." It also bagged the first prize in the 'Search for Best Statistical Bulletin Board' by the National Statistical Coordination Board and the Regional Development Council in last year's celebration of National Statistics Month.

Author:
Date: March 22, 2013
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

In a press briefing, House Minority Leader, Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez said the administration should stop taking the people for a ride when it comes to attaining self-sufficiency in rice when all other experts have been saying otherwise. "What is surprising though is the declaration of presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda that this year will be the last year that the government will be importing rice, promising a rice self-sufficient Philippines by 2014," said Suarez. "If you remember this was the same tag line used by Agriculture Secretary Proceso Acala, only he promised it to happen this year." "This notion of rice self-sufficiency is certainly worth pursuing, but the Filipino people must not be taken for a ride by providing them with misplaced optimism. We don't understand why Malacanang would continue mouthing this mantra of rice self-sufficiency when not a few experts have already been contending the opposite," Suarez stressed. The Quezon solon said that even economist Solita Monsod bared there is absolutuely no chance of achieving rice sufficiency this year. "If they just do their math right, they will find that there is not a snowball's chance in hell of attaining rice self-sufficiency (zero imports) by 2013," Suarez said quoting Monsod. Suarez added that another expert on the subject, Lourdes Adriano of the rural development and regional sustainability department of the Asian Development Bank made a similar conclusion saying that nothing on the ground indicates that the country is anywhere near attaining the self-sufficiency. "Her exact words were: 'It is not possible to attain rice self-sufficiency next year, not even in the medium term. Not in your or my lifetime,'" Suarez said.

Author: Charlie V. Manalo
Date: March 22, 2013
Source: The Daily Tribune

Mindanao has been expecting to suffer from power outages again this summer after no additional capacity came on stream, according to a study by state-run Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS). PIDS senior research fellow Adoracion Navarro said the demand for power in Mindanao has spiked through the years with rapid urbanization and increased industrialization. Forecasts for 2010-2019 showed an annual average demand growth of 4.28 percent in Mindanao, higher than the national average of 3.63 percent. Mindanao's peak demand could reach 1,428 MW this year and 1, 823 MW by 2019. To meet peak demand and, at the same time, maintain security and reliability of the power grid, generation capacity must not only correspond to peak demand but also provide for other ancillary services. The DOE requires a reserve margin of at least 21 percent of peak demand. The total generation capacity consequently should be 1,728 MW in 2013 and 2,206 MW in 2019. The dependable capacity in Mindanao stands at 1,616 MW. This means the area could suffer a reserve shortfall of 112 MW for this year, indicating that outages could happen in the coming months.

Author: Paul Atienza
Date: March 22, 2013
Source: The Daily Tribune

Aquino made the statements following the call of several businessmen, including the Zamboanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc. (ZCCIFI), that he invoke his special powers to solve the energy crisis in Mindanao. "By invoking Section 71 [of EPIRA,] red tape can be cut and the lengthy procedure in starting a new power project, which normally takes around two years to process, can be shortened," ZCCIFI president Pedro Rufo Soliven said in an earlier interview. Republic Act 9136, or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), has provisions for the President to declare a state of emergency following a shortage of electricity supply. However, a joint resolution from Congress is needed before the President's emergency powers kick in. But Aquino maintained that he sees no need for him to invoke those powers, saying that the administration has proper contingency plans for the elections in Mindanao to go smoothly. "Pero 'yung kung sa eleksyon ang pinag-uusapan, gumawa na ng paraan para siguraduhin na walang failure dahil mawawalan ng kuryente," Aquino clarified.

Author: Patricia Denise Chiu
Date: March 21, 2013
Source: GMA News

Congress may authorize, through a joint resolution, the establishment of additional generating capacity under Republic Act No. 9136 or the Electrical Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) law, "upon the determination by the President of the Philippines of an imminent shortage of the supply of electricity." Lawmakers, however, are on a break for the campaign period. They will resume session on June 5 to 7 to wrap up work for the 15th Congress. The 16th Congress will convene on July 22. Meanwhile, Mr. Aquino said "nakaimbak 'yung tubig [water is stored] in hydropower plants to ensure adequate electricity, especially for election day" on May 13 as the island's supply mainly comes from hydropower plants. He said the "stopgap measures" of solving the power crisis will entail buying diesel-powered plants or renting these from those that have generating capacity. "And end point is if government buys the generating plant, 'yung 'pag nag-online na 'yung mga private power plants by 2014 and 2015, 'di na kakailanganin itong diesel na mahal, dadalhin doon sa mga tinatawag na missionary areas o SPUG (small power utilities group) areas, [when private power plants go online by 2014 and 2015, the expensive diesel-powered plants are no longer needed and will be brought to missionary areas or SPUG]," the President explained.

Author: K. M. P. Tubadeza and C. Q. Francisco
Date: March 21, 2013
Source: BusinessWorld

The Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) has urged government to implement market reforms, set up good infrastructure and efficient institutions for local firms to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the regional economic integration by 2015. Rafaelita Aldaba of PIDS made this recommendation in a study titled "Getting Ready for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015: Philippine Investment Liberalization and Facilitation". "If market reforms are to have their intended effects, 'behind the border' complementary policies that define the business environment must be addressed including investment in human capital, infrastructure and the quality of governance in the country," she said. Aldaba said ASEAN countries, including the Philippines, should continue implementing their investment and trade reforms along with reforms to improve their domestic business environment. The PIDS study urged the government to increase investment spending and strengthen its weak institutional and regulatory environment. "There is a need to increase infrastructure investment in power and logistics to reduce the cost of doing business in the country. Modern and efficient air, land and sea infrastructure should be built fast enough," it said. The study also underscored the need to review the constitutional limitations on foreign equity particularly the 60-40 rule. "The Philippines is already considered relatively open vis-a-vis its ASEAN neighbors. Foreign entry remains restricted in a substantial number of important economic sectors," it noted.

Author: Edu H. Lopez
Date: March 16, 2013
Source: Manila Bulletin

EMPLOYERS will converge in May to draw up strategies on how they can help the government solve the "jobless growth" riddle that has been hounding the Philippine economy. The 34th National Conference of Employers (NCE 34), slated on May 23 and 24 at the Marriott Hotel in Pasay City, carries the theme "Inclusive Growth: Vision, Prescriptions and Action." The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (Ecop), which is organizing the meet, said top corporate executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders will attend the event as they heed the call of the Aquino administration for heightened public-private efforts to achieve inclusive growth. "It takes into account the platform of what the President enunciated in the Philippine Development Plan, which calls on every stakeholder to contribute in their own little way toward the goal of inclusive growths, which means sustained growth that creates jobs," Ecop said. Earlier, the state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) said the irony of a jobless growth continues to hound the Philippines as although the country posted the fastest economic acceleration in Southeast Asia in 2012, it remains as the cellar-dweller in terms of employment rate in the region. The PIDS noted that about 2.8 million Filipinos in the labor force are without jobs as the country's unemployment rate stayed at a relatively high 7 percent, while underemployment slightly increased to 20 percent from 19.3 percent.

Author:
Date: March 20, 2013
Source: BusinessMirror

THE government did enough to spur a 6.6-percent economic expansion in 2012 even if it failed to meet its targeted public infrastructure spending last year by 18 percent. The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) reported that government infrastructure and capital spending amounted to P250.8 billion last year, or a sixth below the programmed P298.2 billion. Still, the amount was way above the state spending for infrastructure in 2011 at only P91.7 billion. The state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) earlier said the heightened public-sector spending in 2012 was a major contributor in the 6.6-percent gross domestic product growth last year. It noted that the Aquino administration cannot afford to repeat its spending policy in 2011 when the money spent by the government contracted by 2.1 percent, resulting in a slower 3.9-percent economic expansion. "Last year's spending levels will buoy our growth strategy this year as we look forward to pouring more investments into infrastructure and capital outlay in 2013," Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said. "The development of roads and bridges, for example--as well as ongoing initiatives to increase access to tourism hotspots and improve irrigation facilities--will help generate jobs and create thriving markets for local industries," he added. Other expenditures items increased year-on-year, the DBM also said, citing the maintenance and other operating expenditures (MOOE) and personal services.

Author:
Date: March 19, 2013
Source: BusinessMirror

Deepening the assistance to the nation's poorest provided by the Aquino administration's conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, instead of merely expanding the number of beneficiaries, may have a better impact on human capital development, the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) said. In a PIDS policy note, Senior Research Fellow Celia Reyes and Supervising Research Specialist Aubrey Tabuga said that it is relevant for the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) to cover not only children aged 6 to 14 years old, but also those aged 15 to 18. "The recommended 18-year-old cutoff reflects that the child is expected to complete the 12 years of primary and secondary schools by the time he/she reaches 18 years old based on the recently adopted K+12 program," PIDS said. "If this happens, the program would not only become more relevant to the Philippine case but would also be much closer to the Latin American models of conditional cash transfer programs which target extremely poor families with children aged up to 17 years," the note added. Under the 4Ps, the targeted poor households receive cash grants every month for health and educational expenses. Each family can receive as much as P1,400 per month: P500 to cover the health component, and P300 each child for the educational component, for a maximum of three children per household.

Author: Angela Celis
Date: March 19, 2013
Source: Malaya

The Philippines needs to implement market reforms, set up good infrastructure and efficient institutions for local firms so it can take advantage of the opportunities offered by the regional economic integration by 2015. In a position paper obtained from the Philippine Exporters Confederation (PhilExport) from Rafaelita Aldaba of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), the official said the Philippines must work double time to expedite growth in investments and reach needed market reforms. Aldaba made her recommendation through a paper titled "Getting Ready for the Asean Economic Community (AEC) 2015: Philippine Investment Liberalization and Facilitation." "If market reforms are to have their intended effects, 'behind the border' complementary policies that define the business environment must be addressed including investment in human capital, infrastructure and the quality of governance in the country," she said. Aldaba said Asean countries, including the Philippines, should continue implementing their investment and trade reforms along with reforms to improve their domestic business environment. The PIDS study urged the government to increase investment spending and strengthen its weak institutional and regulatory environment. "(There is a need to) Increase infrastructure investment in physical infrastructure, power and logistics in particular, to reduce the cost of doing business in the country. Modern and efficient air, land and sea infrastructure should be built fast enough," it said. The study also underscored the need to review the Constitutional limitations on foreign equity particularly the 60-40 rule.

Author: Ed Velasco
Date: March 15, 2013
Source: The Daily Tribune

Dr. Anoop Singh, Director for IMF's Asia and Pacific Department, yesterday said that while the Philippine economy posted a strong growth of 6.6 percent last year, higher than the expansion in other Asean economies, the average growth for the past decade stood at only 4.5 percent. Singh, speaking at the Philippine Institute For Development Studies' Seminar-forum on "The Quest for Inclusive Economic Growth", said the Philippines already has a lot of favorable factors that could lead to sustained inclusive growth, including macrostability, vast natural resources, and a large working age population. However, one of the key factors for sustained growth is to have a higher investment rate, and the Philippines' investment rate is low compared to other Asean countries, Singh said during. "The investment climate is very important. But in many of the essential factors that determine investment climate, the Philippines has a weaker situation compared to other Asean countries," Singh said. "(To raise the country's average growth rate), there is a need to significantly improve the investment rate, as well as productivity of labor," Singh said. "It can be done. It needs a lot of reforms, but it is feasible," he said. In a separate presentation, PIDS president Dr. Josef Yap said the Philippines' investment rate still lags behind those of its neighbors in Southeast Asia. Using the rebased National Income Accounts of the Philippines as basis, Yap estimated the country's investment rate at 19.7 percent last year, down from the 1998 level of 22.9 percent.

Author: Business Insights
Date: March 14, 2013
Source: Malaya

A powerful environmental determinant of health, the quality of drinking water is a good foundation for the prevention and control of diseases, especially the water-borne ones. According to the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, the availability of clean potable water in the country has decreased because of water pollution. While the country is surrounded by water and rich in freshwater, there are only 39 percent of classified inland surface water bodies that can be tapped for human consumption. Based on the reports by the Environmental Management Bureau, the number of monitored freshwater bodies of water which failed the standard in dissolved oxygen and biological oxygen demand has been significantly increasing, with average annual rates of 22.90 and 22.30 percent from 2000 to 2007. Among the Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines ranks second lowest in freshwater availability. Reports predict that in the near future, more Filipinos will not have adequate access to safe drinking water. Every year, one Filipino can only consume and use an estimated 1,907 cubic meters of freshwater because of water pollution. Improper waste disposal, sedimentation from indiscriminate land development, over-extraction of water resources, and flooding in coastal and low-lying areas have resulted in poor water quality in the country. So, what kind of water should we drink? Should we drink hard or soft, distilled or purified water?

Author: Ma. Glaiza Lee
Date: March 12, 2013
Source: Manila Bulletin

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is looking for investment opportunities to diversify its foreign exchange reserves, its top official said. "We continue to look for opportunities to diversify into other currencies and asset classes," BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. told reporters last Friday. The country's gross international reserves (GIR) dipped to $83.818 billion in February after the government purchased some dollars to settle its maturing obligations. Prior to this, it amounted to a record $85.274 billion. Tetangco was reacting to a study by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies released last week that said the country's reserves, which serve as cushion in times of external shocks, are "higher than the optimal level." It said keeping such "passive" liquidity may have an opportunity costs for the Philippines in terms of gaining more by investing funds more "actively." This was not the first time a red flag was raised with regard to the country's huge reserves. Last year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also warned economies against holding "excessive" GIR for the same reasons.

Author: Prinz P. Magtulis
Date: March 10, 2013
Source: Philippine Star

The state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) said the Aquino administration cannot afford to repeat its spending policy in 2011 when the money spent by the government contracted by 2.1 percent, resulting in a slower 3.9-percent economic expansion. The PIDS said public-construction spending should be combined with election-related spending to improve the country's chances of sustaining an economic growth of over 6 percent. "Domestic sources of growth will be important because global economic conditions continue to remain fragile.

Author: Max V. de Leon
Date: March 11, 2013
Source: BusinessMirror

Philippine consumer prices is seen to climb slightly in 2013 as the inflation rate is expected to average at 3.8 percent, according to the latest report of the state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS). The PIDS projection is within the 3-percent to 5-percent target of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for the year. Inflation was moderate throughout 2012, as the average headline inflation rate for the entire year was 3.2 percent and is in the lower band of the government's 3-percent to 5-percent target range, the PIDS Development Research News (DRN) said.

Author: Mayvelin U. Caraballo
Date: March 11, 2013
Source: Manila Times

Greenpeace said the uptake of coal-fired technology was not the solution to the `looming power crisis` in Mindanao, as it urged government to reconsider its renewable energy options. `Coal is the worst answer to the Mindanao power situation,` Beau Baconguis, Greenpeace program manager for the Philippines, said in a statement. `It`s a short-term, short-sighted solution. It will compromise the island`s agricultural productivity, cause health problems for nearby communities, and will also lead to water shortages in the future,` she said. Greenpeace reiterated its appeal to President Benigno Aquino III to `usher in` clean, green renewable energy and reject harmful coal plants. The environment group`s call came amid reports of an impending power crisis in Mindanao, based on a study released last week by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies.

Author: DJ Yap
Date: March 09, 2013
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Greenpeace reiterated its appeal to President Benigno Aquino to usher in clean, green renewable energy and reject harmful coal-fired plants. The environment group`s call came amid reports of an impending power crisis in Mindanao, based on a study released last week by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies. Current Department of Energy plans for Mindanao are designed to promote the use of coal power, and several coal-fired plants are set to be operational by 2015, according to Greenpeace. But coal and its negative side effects will only worsen Mindanao`s power woes in the long run, as opposed to renewable energy, which is good for the environment and business, Baconguis said. Mindanao, which relies on hydro-electric power, faces energy shortages during the dry season due to lower water levels in its lakes and rivers, Greenpeace noted.

Author: DJ Yap
Date: March 08, 2013
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

The Philippine economy remains in an extended sweet spot considering the strong outlook for growth and the prevailing low-inflation environment, according to the DBS Group.The financial service provider said in a research note that such an environment enables the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to maintain low policy rates over the short term. `Notably, the latest inflation print came in at just 3.4 percent year-on-year and this figure is actually skewed higher due to an increase in sin taxes,` DBS said. Earlier this week, the National Statistics Office reported that inflation inched up to a six-month high, mainly due to a 29-percent uptick in prices of tobacco and alcohol following the implementation of jacked-up excise tax rates. Another major factor cited was the continued rise of the heavily weighted food and non-alcoholic beverage group in the consumer price index.

Author: Ronnel W. Domingo
Date: March 08, 2013
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Election-related spending is seen to spur the country`s economic growth this year, according to the state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS). In its latest Development Research News, the institute reported that despite the global economic slowdown, the Philippines achieved an impressive full-year growth of 6.6 percent in 2012, the highest growth rate in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Author: Mayvelin U. Caraballo
Date: March 07, 2013
Source: Manila Times

The country`s nearly $86-billion foreign exchange reserves, which are projected to rise further due to robust inflow of remittances and portfolio investments, were deemed excessive, costly and beyond optimal. This is the opinion of Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), which said in one of its latest research notes that the economy might be missing out on prudent investment opportunities as it kept more than enough foreign exchange liquidity. PIDS also said the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), which manages the gross international reserves (GIR), was incurring huge interest expenses as it continued to build the reserves. It explained that the central bank`s dollar buying activities--which boosts the GIR--resulted in the infusion of peso liquidity into the economy.

Author: Michelle V. Remo
Date: March 07, 2013
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

The Philippines has achieved considerable progress in tackling corruption and upgrading competitiveness, which makes it earn the respect of world economists, thanks to the high confidence enjoyed by President Aquino. From the "Sick Man of Asia" in the past, the country is now considered as the possible "Tiger Economy" before long. The President has stated that in the second half of his term, the government will focus on providing opportunities for the creation of quality employment and livelihood, since these are the country's pathway out of poverty. Building on the substantial improvements so far reached by the Cabinet economic cluster, the various business organizations have reiterated the need for sectoral economic planning of products and services, which have the potentials to be globally competitive and where the country can benefit from the global economies of scale that will meet the challenging targets of generating 14.6 million employment and livelihood until 2016. The Philippines will become a global player in a broad field of products and services, which will benefit its resources (both human and natural), financially, technologically, socially and culturally. It will provide the seed of economic renaissance, which was proposed by the combined local and joint foreign business chambers two years ago. The approach is similar to the ADB's "Taking the Right Route to Inclusive Growth"--a strategy supported by the National Competitiveness Council's private sector experts (NCC being a public-private sector partnership).

Author: Cesar B. Bautista
Date: March 04, 2013
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Aboitiz Power Corp. is confident it will complete all of its ongoing power projects in Mindanao by 2015, helping boost the generating capacity of the region. The company committed P35 billion in new investments to address the power shortage in Mindanao. According to a recent study by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), the shortage could worsen in the summer months due to low water levels. Mindanao is heavily dependent on hydro power. Aboitiz Power subsidiary Therma South Inc. said it would increase the pace of construction of its 300-megawatt (MW) base load coal power plant in southern Davao City. Another subsidiary, Hedcor Inc., committed to complete its Tudaya 1 and 2 run-of-river hydro power plant project by 2014. The facilities are located in barangays Astorga and Sibulan, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur. When completed, Tudaya 1 and 2 will provide a total of 13 MW of renewable energy to Davao. Hedcor COO Rene Ronquillo said in a statement they are proud of the project because, aside from supplying renewable energy, it would also provide livelihood opportunities to far-flung host communities. Ronquillo added that Hedcor is also planning additional projects to increase the use of renewable energy in the energy mix. The company has 30 years of expertise in run-of-river hydro power technology. It currently supplies 155
MW of renewable hydro power in Luzon and Mindanao. The Department of Energy earlier said that total generation capacity in Mindanao should be at least 1,728 MW in 2013 and 2,206 MW in 2019. But current dependable capacity in the island is only 1,616 MW. The PIDS study urged the government to take both medium-term and long-term measures to address the power shortage.

Author:
Date: March 03, 2013
Source: Rappler.com

The ideal total generation capacity for Mindanao should be 1,728 MW in 2013 and 2,206 MW in 2019, with a reserve margin of at least 21 percent of peak demand. Right now, however, the dependable capacity in Mindanao is only 1,616 MW, or a reserve shortfall of 112 MW for this year. Beyond the troubling math, PIDS laments that Mindanao is "heavily dependent on hydropower, which has become unreliable in the face of the worsening deforestation of watersheds and siltation of river systems," with the Agus and Pulangi hydropower plants "in a poor state and rely[ing] heavily on favorable weather." And more bad news: The energy gap can only be filled in 2015, when a new coal-power plant in Sarangani would already have been built to supply an additional 105 MW. That means, in other words, Mindanao residents will have to suffer scorching-hot summers without electric fans and air-conditioning units to beat the heat, while entrepreneurs will be reduced to twiddling their thumbs waiting for the electricity to surge in the sockets of their establishments or factories. We cannot overemphasize the urgent need to address the electricity shortage in Mindanao, particularly since the government wants to accelerate economic development in the entire region with peace talks already in an advanced stage and a comprehensive peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front not far in the horizon.

Author: Editorial
Date: March 02, 2013
Source: BusinessMirror