COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao: The Province of Basilan needs to generate more power in order to qualify as an investment destination, according to an Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) official.
Lawyer Ishak Mastura, chairman of the Regional Board of Investments (RBOI) in the ARMM, on Monday said the lack of power supply in Basilan should be the priority project of local authorities, since it is a necessity for daily life.
“This issue requires collective actions among local stakeholders. The local governments of Basilan with the help of other government agencies and the private sector should push for independent power providers to solve the power deficiency in the province,” Mastura said.
“Energy is (a) top investment opportunity in Basilan. Taking actions to the power generation needs of the province will make Basilan the next ARMM investment destination,” Mastura added.
It can be noted that Basilan province needs about 8.8 megawatts of power everyday, but the available supply is only 7.4 MW. The province has a daily power deficit of 1.4 megawatts; with this, there are daily rotational brownouts throughout Basilan.
Basilan province, one of the country’s largest producers of rubber, coconut and seaweeds was recently visited by the RBOI-ARMM. The agency held a Consultation and Road Show on the 2015 ARMM Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) that was attended by over 60 participants from different sectors in Basilan and also some businessmen from Sulu.
It was also observed that Basilan’s power shortage has hampered business operations, household activities and government transaction.
“If this problem will persist, the economic growth of Basilan will continue to stagnate and that Basileños will remain in poor living standards,” the RBOI-ARMM chairman observed.