There is a need to develop more power plants run by traditional energy sources like coal and fossil fuel in Mindanao because some areas in the region may be affected by drought brought about by the strong El Niño phenomenon, said former energy secretary Jericho Petilla.
Mindanao, Petilla underscored, relies mostly on power generated by hydro power plants like the Agus Power Plant in Lanao del Sur and Pulangi Hydro Power Plant Complex in Bukidnon.
“Itong sa Mindanao dependent sa hydro. Ang dapat gawin ay maghanda na tayo. (Mindanao is dependent on hydro power plants. We have to prepare,” Petilla said.
Meanwhile, Department of Energy Officer in Charge Zenaida Monsada said the agency is already preparing for the possible lack of power supply in Mindanao.
She said they are setting up energy reserves to prevent the implementation of rotational brownouts in Mindanao during El Niño, especially during Christmas.
State weather forecasters earlier warned that the strong El Niño will start on September and could last until January 2016.
In its website the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration identified the areas in the country that may be severely affected by the drought, including Bohol, Camiguin, Marinduque, Misamis Oriental, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Siquijor, Quirino and the province of Quezon.
The effects of El Nino include a 60 percent decrease in rainfall, which will result to low water supply in dams, which provide water to agriculture, residential, business and even the hydro plants that provide electricity.