Duterte: Cheap energy source could entice investors in the Philippines


President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated the country’s need for cheap energy source like coal-fired electric power plants in enticing more investors in creating businesses that would provide more jobs for Filipinos.

”Coal, it’s the cheapest and probably if we use the modern technology, it’s the safest. Just be careful with the operation,” Duterte said at the inauguration of the 135 megawatt Circulating Fluidized Bed Combustion Power Plant at Malacanang.

Joining the president in the switch-on ceremony of the plant located in Barangay Nipa, Concepcion, Iloilo was Palm Concepcion Power Corporation (PCPC) Chairman Walter Brown and Department of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

”I would like to congratulate the corporation. Mr. Brown, do not worry about pollution. It’s always there. It’s up to our mankind to innovate and come up with gadgets that would compensate all these things because we cannot abandon the sources of energy,” President Duterte said.

”Whatever is really working on fuel, we cannot really avoid…but you have to consider along the way in our course of civilization,” he added.

DOE secretary Cusi said that the Iloilo power plant will help in speeding up the economic activities in the Visayas.

”This is a crucial energy infrastructure project to help sustain the economic growth and we expect to have a livelier business environment in the region,” Cusi said.

The 135 MW plant began its commercial operations last August 16 and is a joint venture between the Palm Thermal Consolidated Holdings Corporation (PTCHC) – a subsidiary A Brown Co. and Jin Navitas Resource Inc.

It is currently supplying power to customers in Panay, Negros and the rest of Visayas. The plant is also using the latest and most efficient technologies, PCPC president, and CEO Roel Castro said.

”As a result, we have one of the lowest tariffs in this same class of plants that the consumers are able to enjoy,” Castro said.

He added that the company has allotted P150 million for environmental protection projects and creation of livelihood and scholarships for residents in Iloilo.

The coal plant project generated around $280 million, one of the biggest investments in the Iloilo province.