President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the First Subaraw Biodiversity Festival held at the People’s Amphitheater in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan on November 10, 2018. | PCOO/Richard Madelo
PALAWAN, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte warned the local governments and the lone electric distributor in the province of Palawan to immediately address power problems in the island archipelago or else he would order the national government to take over its facilities.
The President said he is giving Palawan Electric Cooperative (Paleco) until the end of the year to solve the issue otherwise, he will transfer Paleco’s franchise to a more competent and efficient power distributor.
“On the extreme maybe I will just give you guys, walang personalan to, trabaho lang, I’ll give you about towards at the end of the year. A new set up that would provide energy, enough energy to run a place and so that it can develop and it can operate and it can move,” he said.
“Kailangan… You’ll have to upgrade your source of energy. Kasi ‘pag hindi, ang gawain ko maghanap ako ng may pera talaga. China, eh nangangati ang kamay niyan eh just to get hold of developments here,” Mr. Duterte said in a speech during the opening of the first Subaraw Festival in Puerto Princesa City.
The President’s warning came after about six to eight hours of power interruption being experienced in the province which happens almost every day.
He noted that the power outages have started to affect businesses in the province particularly in the island’s tourism industry, its main source of income.
“That is my proposal, you better come up with something or I will do something for you, I do not want it if it’s comfortable for you but i said, yung six to eight hours you say that you need, a city for tourism and economy,” the President said in disappointment.
Reports said that President Duterte is eyeing a Chinese firm to do the job. However, he noted that the government is open to joint ventures even with other countries including the United States. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Andy Pagayona)