LUNA, Apayao – The province’s river systems can produce up to 3,500 megawatts of hydropower that can be instrumental in spurring economic growth get Apayao out of the list of poorest provinces in the country and enhance the living condition of the people, especially those from the remote communities, Gov. Elias C. Bulut, Jr. said here recently.
The governor said the development of hydropower potentials in the different parts of the province is the primordial objective of the provincial government to help attract more business investors in identified growth areas to contribute to employment opportunities for qualified residents and increase in the income-generating endeavors of the government.
“We have to make sure that our energy will be reliable, coupled with a quality distribution system to convince other investors aside from hydro developers to do business in the different parts of the province. Our major river systems have sufficient hydropower potentials that could be developed for us to achieve our primary objective of making Apayao an investment haven in the Cordillera,” Bulut stressed.
He admitted one of the reason why the provincial government is embarking on the development of potential hydropower sources in the province is that it is environmentally-friendly that can guarantee the preservation and protection of the province’s vast track of forested areas as the presence of the trees is important in sustaining the abundant water supply for hydro plants.
Initially, Bulut claimed he offered the province’s hydro potentials to the Aboitiz group of companies and the Pan Pacific group of companies under the umbrella of San Miguel Corporation and he is just awaiting future actions to realize the province’s hosting of hydropower generation plants.
According to him, there are plans to put up a 600-megawatt, 400-megawatt, 150-megawatt and a 100-megawatt hydropower plants along the mighty Apayao river that can serve the growing power requirements of the province and the neighboring provinces of Ilocos Norte, Cagayan and Kalinga.
Bulut pointed out the power supply of the province is unstable because of the weekly power outages which is not good for interested investors that is why the provincial government is enticing hydropower investors to stabilise Apayao’s power supply before working on other investors to develop the province’s other available resources.
Aside from the sustained preservation and protection of the province’s watershed because of the need to make sure of the abundant supply of water for its river systems, Bulut claimed host barangays, municipalities and the province can be ensured of income derived from the operation of the hydropower plants to be used by local governments to implement more development projects and enhance the delivery of basic services to the people translating to overall growth and development for the host communities.