Bohol plunges into darkness after Leyte suffers from 6.5-magnitude earthquake

Bohol once again suffered a province wide power outage after a 6.5-magnitude earthquake destroyed the Leyte Geothermal Power Plant in July 6, 2017. The damage however was not as severe as that of the wreckage done by Typhoon Yolanda in November 8, 2013.

Gov. Edgar Chatto immediately instructed Acting Provincial Administrator Atty. Mitchell John Boiser to convene the Bohol Energey Development Advisory Group (BEDAG).

To recall, Gov. Edgar Chatto immediately issued in 2014 an Executive Order organizing the Bohol Energy Development Advisory Group or BEDAG to tackle issues on energy problems and come up with a power development plan.

The group is chaired by Gov. Chatto and co-chaired by Department of Energy (DOE). Its members include the City Mayor, League of Municipalities, League of Barangays, Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP), 3 distribution utilities (DUs), National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( BCCI), non-government organization ( NGO), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), etc.

It has a Technical Working Group (TWG) chaired by Engr. Emigdio “Loy” Acierto and composed of Bohol Light Co, Inc. or BLCI, BOHECO I & II, NGCP, SP, Academe (HNU, UB & BISU), BANGON, BCCI, DILG, DENR, government sector and other energy stakeholders.

Through the technical assistance of USAID-COMPETE headed by Ms. Arlene Donaire (consultants were from UP Diliman), BEDAG and its TWG were able to formulate a Bohol Island Power Supply Plan, Transmission and Distribution Plan.

Four (4) Power Investment Fora were already conducted since 2014 where interested investors presented their proposals for power plants (solar, hydro, wind, bio-mass,liquefied natural gas, coal-powered, etc.).

So far, the TWG thru the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO), BEDAG’s technical secretariat, has issued several technical bulletins for power investors to be properly guided. Bohol Investment Promotion Center (BIPC) is assisting the potential investors in setting up their businesses in Bohol.

Gov. Chatto stressed that a climate smart and environment-friendly Bohol-based power plant shall be established at the soonest possible time that will sustainably supply power at reasonable cost.

The three distribution utilities, namely, BOHECO I & II and Bohol Light Co., Inc. (BLCI), have organized themselves into One Bohol Power (1BP) and is now in the process of creating a Procurement Board and Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) in preparation for the bidding on procurement of power supply.

Meanwhile, NGCP has assured Gov. Chatto that his proposal to create a Bohol-Cebu Interconnection Project via Sibonga (Cebu) to Loon (Bohol) will be realized by 2020 or 2021, just in time for the establishment of a Bohol-based power plant to supply the needs of the province through the three DUs once their power supply contract expires in 2023.

The governor has been in constant communication with DOE Sec Alfonso Cusi, NGCP and provincial officials (Atty. Boiser, Ms. Liza Migriño Quirog, etc.) to solve the power outage problem ASAP.

Mr. Ae PA Alfonso Damalerio II, in his personal capacity as private sector representative, attended the emergency BEDAG meeting and proposed to coordinate with NEDA Sec. Ernesto Pernia, Cabinet Sec. Leoncio Evasco and Cong. Art Yap to fast track the approval of Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) in operating the Bohol Diesel Power Plant (BDPP).

Thanks to the quick action of DOE, ERC and coordination of NGCP, and other BEDAG members, the BDPP has already been functioning since July 7, 2017 although power supply is being rationed every 6 hours to each feeder in Tagbilaran City.

DOE Sec Cusi assured Gov. Chatto that a power barge is on its way to Bohol as a back-up plan for temporary solution to Bohol’s power outage.

On the other hand, NGCP’s Engr. Jiuseppe Lumaad said that all power supply coming from Cebu and Luzon going to Leyte pass through the marshalling (terminal) or switching station in Leyte before being distributed to consumers including Bohol. He proposes to by-pass this switching station and distribute the power supply directly to Bohol while the said station is being repaired.

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