by: Ven rebo Arigo
Gov. Edgar Chatto on Friday presided over the sealing of the One Bohol Power (1BP), an aggressive innovation towards abundant and resilient electricity which may even be a paradigm for energy development in other parts of the country.
Top officials of the province’s three electric power distribution utilities (DUs) signed the Memorandum of Agreement of 1BP for Long-Term Power Supply Transaction, with the governor also standing as a principal witness.
The DUs were represented by Bohol Electric Cooperative I (BOHECO I) Board President Marcial Degamo and General Manager Dino Nicolas Roxas; BOHECO II Board President Dionisio Olaivar and General Manager Eugenio Tan; and Bohol Light Company, Inc. (BLCI) Board of Director duly authorized representative Alberto Fenix, Jr. and General Manager Eulogio Signe.
The unprecedented 1BP binds the three DUs to an agreement on aggregate power purchase from a common large-scale supplier that will be required to build its power generation facilities in Bohol.
The DUs agreed to procure long-term baseload power for years 2024 to 2043 through a joint competitive bidding and to enter into a power supply agreement on their respective committed quantities with a common generation company, which will build facilities in Bohol.
Also during the historic 1BP inking which was held at the Amorita Resort in Panglao, Chatto signed the Executive Order on the Bohol Power Eco-Zone Policy.
The ceremonies were attended and witnessed, too, by the industry policymakers, government advisors, and technical experts, including those from an assisting foreign institution.
Providing Bohol most reliable, less costly and environment-friendly power is a premium consideration, the governor said.
Chatto considered energy as an industry that affects and impacts immeasurably on the very lives of the people.
Before the signing, the Bohol Island Power Development Plan (BIPDP) 2016-2045 was turned over by Engr. Emigdio Acierto, head of the Bohol Energy Development Advisory Group – Technical Working Group (BEDAG-TWG), to Chatto, who is the BEDAG chairman.
By his executive order in 2014, Chatto created the multi-sector BEDAG which has since initiated the challenging process of ensuring sustainable and resilient power supply in the province.
The BIPDP is the province’s masterplan for power development in three component, namely, the Bohol Island Power Supply Plan, Distribution Development Plans of the Three DUs, and Bohol Transmission Development Plan with the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP).
According to energy sector sources, all these are already “modest” accomplishments of the BEDAG along with all its partners while it is just a matter of time for all the plans to really take concrete forms.
PARTNERS FORUM HIGHLIGHTS
The signing and turnover highlighted the “Partners Forum: Bohol Island Power Development” initated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) thru its Advancing Philippine Competitiveness (COMPETE) Project.
The USAID-COMPETE power team has been assisting in the province’s development program to attain reliable, sustainable and resilient power supply as a hard lesson learned from Bohol’s plunging to long darkness after the epic earthquake and super typhoon Yolanda in 2013.
The team worked with the BEDAG-TWG and Power Investments Coordinating Committee, which was also created by the governor.
Bohol is a province worthy to showcase a Philippine success of the COMPETE Project, according to Jenna Diallo, deputy chief, Office of Economic Development and Governance of the USAID Philippines, and Dr. Enrico Basilio, chief of party, USAID-COMPETE Project.
University of the Philippines Prof. Rowaldo del Mundo, USAID-COMPETE Project lead power advisor, presented the long-term power transaction design during the forum.
The design presents guidelines and options to the power developer companies, about 50 of them having already expressed to the BEDAG their strong interest in investing in Bohol.
Chatto thanked the USAID for showcasing Bohol, adding that its support and assistance are “to be always remembered.”
A tourism committee chairman while he was in Congress, Chatto recalled that when tourism yet then sounded “weird” to the Boholanos, the USAID came “to make us think globally.”
POWER ECO-ZONE POLICY
As a parallel effort, Chatto initiated the development of the policy to encourage island-based power investments that will contribute to power supply security and reduction of the cost of power consistent with the BIPDP.
The policy provides both fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for future power investors and enumerates other types of assistance from the provincial government to the potential investors.
It supports the One Bohol Power long-term transaction, which requires the future power supplier to establish an island-based power generation facilities.
The USAID-COMPETE power team provided research, analysis and formulation assistances to the BEDAG-TWG and the Power Investments Coordinating Committee in developing the policy.
The partners forum served as the concluding event for the COMPETE Project in the province.
Also present, among many others, during the signing were Acting Vice Gov. Venzencio Arcamo and Sangguniang Panlalawigan Members Ricky Masamayor, Abeleon Damalerio, Romulo Cepedoza, Agapito Avenido, Jade Bautista, Victor Dionisio Balite and Gloria Gementiza, as well as Acting Provincial Administrator Mitchell John Boiser.
Chatto thanked, too, the Provincial Planning and Development Office which job, including secretariat function, in the energy development program has been equally tasking.