Leftist group’s actions threaten to delay Duterte’s ‘Build Build Build’ program – Columnist

Leftist group’s actions threaten to delay Duterte’s ‘Build Build Build’ program – Columnist

A columnist has called out leftist congressmen and consumer groups for questioning various energy projects, particularly coal projects, saying that their actions will not help the country’s development.

In a column posted by the Manila Bulletin, Elinando Cinco said that the Duterte Administration’s ‘Build Build Build’ Agenda needs a huge demand of power for the country to develop.

“What these consumer groups are doing is threaten our country’s ability to increase available generation capacity to meet the existing, growing requirements of the consuming public,” he said.

Cinco expressed his concern over groups and government officials who want to stop the administration in granting permits to power producers.

“This is very disheartening, and even scary because coal is still critical to answer our demand for reliable and cheap electricity. Coal will be essential to our government’s agenda to ‘Build Build Build” program,’ Cinco said.

In June, some climate and environmental groups, Power 4 People (P4P), including Sanlakas, and Bayan Muna’s Carlos Zarate has called on the Energy Regulatory Commission to reject the Manila Electric Co. (MERALCO)’s seven power supply agreements (PSAs) with coal-fired power plants.

The group has also filed graft cases on the ERC commissioners for allegedly extending the deadline of the competitive selection process (CSP) to accommodate Meralco.

And just recently, they filed a petition compelling the DENR and DOE to stop issuing permits for the operations of coal-fired power plants.

“The timing of Zarate, Sanlakas, and the other groups is horrible, and it smells like a desperate measure by another player in the power industry to bandage a bleeding business while targeting the easy marks, like various distribution utilities, in public sight,” Cinco said.

Cinco has asked the groups if they can provide the power the country needs for the ‘Build Build Build’ agenda, “and if so, where will you find it?”

“If a nation’s GDP increases, this will, in turn, require the same amount of growth in the generation of electricity. Otherwise, the economic growth will not be able to sustain itself,” Cinco said.

Protesters march in Mendiola, Manila to mark President Rodrigo Duterte’s first year in office.