ZAMBOANGA CITY: Mindanao councilors urged the national government to study the possibility of building a nuclear power plant to solve the power crisis in the region.
Taking part in the three-day regional assembly of the Philippine Councilors League (PCL) which began on Thursday, majority of the 200 city and municipal councilors expressed their support to nuclear power.
PCL Zamboanga del Sur chapter president Ernesto Mondarte said it is high time that the national government study the putting up of nuclear power plant in Mindanao since this is the most stable, safest and cheapest way of generating power.
Mondarte, a councilor of Pagadian City, offered his province as site of a nuclear plant if the Department of Energy (DOE) decides to put up one.
When asked on the safety of the plant, Mondarte said “ Japan is a model of having nuclear plant as source of power. Japan went through a lot of earthquakes and tsunamis but the nuclear plant has not caused any adverse effects to its population”.
He also noted that Vietnam is a third world country like the Philippines but it decided to put up seven nuclear power plants.
“Vietnam was a very poor country but it has stable power because of its nuclear plant and this country is now rapidly progressing,” said Mondarte.
Mondarte added that the city council of Pagadian already passed a resolution asking the DOE to send an expert to enlighten residents on the capability of a nuclear plant to provide power in Mindanao.
Councilor Riza Melicor, PCL Zamboanga del Norte chapter secretary general, said she is supporting the move to build a nuclear plant in Mindanao if it will solve the problem.
Melicor said Zamboanga del Norte has been experiencing up to six hourse of power outage. She was surprised to learn that her electric bill increased by 30 percent despite the browout.
Melicor, a member of the Nacionalista Party, appealed to President Benigno Aquino 3rd to appoint an action officer to address the power crisis in Mindanao.
Councilor Crizmille Jajurie of Sibugay province said the national government should resort to other sources of power. Jajurie said that in her province, small farmer-entrepreneurs have resorted to buying solar power which is very expensive and these farmers are having difficulty in their rice milling work because of power outage lasting up to eight hours daily.
In Kidapawan City, village chief Jojo Sibug said President Aquino should be decisive in addressing the power crisis in Mindanao and refrain from making promises that the government is doing something.
Rolly Pelinggon, chief executive officer of Mark Builders, one of Mindanao’s biggest construction companies based in Cagayan de Oro, is also in favor of nuclear plant but adds “the government has to look first into developing Mindanao rivers as a possible source of power.”
Aside from power crisis, the PCL conference will also tackle important matters about the duties and responsibilities of local legislators.