By: JANET VILLAROJO
THE CHATTO-LIM ADMINISTRATION’S indomitable reputation in making good things happen in Bohol not only has carved a name for itself. It has also attracted the attention of world-class investors who are always on the lookout, not only for profitable ventures, but also for sound investments.
The past week alone witnessed the influx of very interested proponents for the Bohol Island Power Development Plan (BIPDP) where at the very least, twelve power companies each presented their proposals and talked big on how they could solve Bohol’s power problem.
However, providing “adequate” power supply for the province only spurred more questions in the minds of the Boholanos for indeed, how adequate is “adequate?”
With the people’s first-hand and not-so-pleasant experience in 2013 where the whole island was put under total darkness for two-and-a-half days after Typhoon Yolanda ravaged Leyte, Boholanos have learned their lesson the hard way.
Gov. Edgar M. Chatto and Vice-Gov. Concepcion Lim vowed to never again let the people go through a similar experience and henceforth did everything they could to hasten the province’s independent power source.
“If we want to be able to succeed and go forward, then, we should strive hard to possess that which we do not have,” the governor was quoted as saying.
Last Tuesday, the Provincial Government hosted a Power Investment Forum spearheaded by the governor as the Chairman of the Bohol Energy Development Advisory Group or BEDAG.
The BEDAG is a multi-sectoral group composed of various representatives from the local government unit (LGU), private sector, academia, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, (NGCP), and the three local Distribution Utilities (DUs) BOHECO I, BOHECO II and the Bohol Light Company, Inc. (BLCI).
It is an institutional mechanism for planning, implementing, and monitoring of Bohol’s power development initiatives and is responsible for preparing the BIPDP.
The twelve proponents who were each given ten minutes to present their proposals were: Visayas Wind Energy Corporation, Global Business Power Corporation, CENERTFC Philippines, Inc., SUN Electric Philippines, Siquijor Power Corporation (SIPCOR), WestMin Energy and Development Company, Inc. JETPRO Technology, Inc., FREY-FIL Corporation, Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), SPC Power Corporation, SPC Island Power Corporation, Sta. Clara International Corporation, and Visayan Electric Company.
What struck as significant during the forum was the fact that several, if not all, of those who did the presentations were the very top executives of the proponent companies.
Majority of the proposals favorably endorsed coal as their power source due to its eco-friendliness, high incidence of efficiency and easy management.
Other proposed power sources though included biogas, waste heat recovery, biomass, mini-hydro and uranium.
One of the presentations which caught the eye of BEDAG due to its uniqueness and versatility was the use of the different kinds of wind turbines and its various applications.
The City of Tagbilaran is recognized as an emerging destination in the category of next wave cities and the Province of Bohol is now in its last mile of preparation as a world-class tourist destination.
Of all the provinces in the country, only Bohol has a business one-stop shop office called BOSS under the Bohol Investment Promotion Center (BIPC) which is propelled by the most able hand of Maria Fe Dominise, who unceasingly revises new ways to attract more investors.
Gov. Chatto gladly recognizes the effort and technical assistance that USAID-COMPETE is doing in helping the Provincial Government in its Visit Bohol 2015 tourism campaign and how it has opened wide our doors to more investment opportunities.
He says that “everything must be at par with each other and each phase of development properly in sync with everything else for if we want to improve Bohol’s reputation, which even now, is being currently considered a choice business location, then, we should push each other more to achieve what we want and in order to arrive at our most-coveted destination.”
Also present during the forum were Board Members Cesar Tomas Lopez, Abeleon Damalerio, Tomas Abapo, Elpidio Jala and Madelone Rengel.
The proposals presented would undergo further scrutiny under the BEDAG and also most possibly, will be duly presented at the upcoming Provincial Development Council (PDC) meeting.