Steady power supply pressed to sustain service sector growth in Negros Occidental
BACOLOD CITY – Additional power facilites and reliable power supply are needed to fuel and sustain Negros Occidental’s service sector, the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) said.
MBCCI Chief Executive Officer Frank Carbon said that there is a need to further diversify Negros Occidental’s economy and not rely solely on relying on its mono-crop industry.
Carbon added that the service sector now is the province’s strongest economic driver which needs an ample and reliable power supply.
Business and knowledge process outsourcing (BPO and KPO), tourism, real estate, public administration, banking, lending, insurance, telecommunications, transport, retail business and trading and education are classified under the service sector.
Bacolod City currently hosts BPO and KPO firms which employ some 30,000 people.
Based on the projections of National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) presented during the Sugar Summit last week, the service sector is seen to contribute around 58 percent of the total gross regional domestic product.
“It will be hard for us to entice and attract investors if we do not have a reliable power and we need a lot of investments for it,” Carbon said.
MBCCI will initiate the Vision for Negros Power Grid that aims to cover at least 50 percent of the projected 400-megawatt demand of Negros by 2023 through an on-island base-load generator.
Currently, the province gets 70 percent of its power supply demand from Cebu, Leyte, and Panay Island.
Based on the MBCCI statement, issues on reliability could only be solved if there is an on-island base-load generating plants in Negros like establishing coal, natural gas, and biomass power plants.
More reliable electricity is needed as the internationalization of Central Negros economy now includes contact center services in Bacolod City, it added.
To address this, Negros Island needs a total of 72-megawatt reserve power as prescribed by the Department of Energy including the need of Central Negros of about 30 to 36-megawatts reserve.