Steady power sup­ply pressed to sus­tain ser­vice sec­tor growth in Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal

Manila Bulletin - - Visayas News - By MARK L. GAR­CIA

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.

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