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Samal Island’s persistent power woes cause P150-M annually: LGU

THE ISLAND Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS) economic losses reach approximately P150 million annually due to the power crisis it has long been experiencing.

During a press forum on June 28, IGaCoS Mayor Al David Uy said Northern Davao Electric Cooperative (Nordeco) gave zero updates to the construction of the P1-billion submarine power cable project, which started three years ago.

“They have been putting up a cable from Barangay Aundanao, Igacos, to the Pantukan Grid, and we haven’t had any updates about it since then. We even pleaded to Nordeco to make the activation possible by June 13, but they still failed to do so,” Uy said.

According to Uy, Samal tourism experienced a massive loss of P50 million, a total of P30 million in the island’s local businesses, P50 million in household damage, P10 million in public services and infrastructure, and P20 million in agriculture and fisheries.

He also said the power crisis might further threaten the safety and security of the island, particularly the inaccessibility of healthcare establishments and big hospitals.

The island had been utilizing modular generator sets owned by the IGaCoS Light and Power Company as well as renewable sources. However, Uy said they continue to experience regular power outages.

In 2022, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. vetoed House Bill No. 10554 granting the expansion of the franchise coverage of the Davao Light and Power Company to other parts of Davao del Norte, as it violates a provision in the constitution provided that “Nordeco’s franchise in the province has yet to expire in 2028 and 2033.

With the Samal Island and Davao Connector Bridge’s construction, Uy stressed that “losses might quadruple by 2033 if there is still no immediate action given.”

Now that Samal is frequently attended by tourists, its peak demand went up from 3 megawatts to 8-10 megawatts, due to the rise of establishments and resorts.

Long-term power solution

The mayor noted that they are willing to spend a huge amount for the power crisis’ intervention, as they are also planning to connect a cable from the island to Davao substation owned by DLPC.

Uy said the P300-billion budgeted sub-cable will soon be discussed together with Nordeco, National ElectrificationA dministration, and DLPC.

Photo: Bing Gonzales


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