Ensure stable power supply, BPAP urges gov’t

Published by rudy Date posted on April 19, 2010

THE GROWING information technology and business process outsourcing industries have urged the government to stabilize the country’s power situation, stressing that erratic supply will affect the image of the Philippines as a prospective investment site.

According to Oscar R. Sañez, CEO of the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP), the frequent power interruptions have been hurting the Philippines’ chances of getting more investments.

“If we want to do that [attract more investments] then we would like to market the Philippines as a place where we don’t have to deal with short-term power outages because we’ve done a good job in ensuring a continuous supply,” Sañez said.

To shield themselves from power interruptions, he said that BPO companies, particularly those located in the economic zones, are required to have a backup power supply.

As such, these information technology and BPO companies are “not likely affected as we continue to operate 24/7.”

Since the start of the year, the country has been experiencing rotating brownouts due to the sudden breakdown of some power plants, simultaneous preventive maintenance schedules of power plants and the El Niño weather disturbance, which had drastically cut the output of hydroelectric power plants.

The government is currently rushing to close the supply gap –particularly in electricity-started Mindanao – to ensure adequate power supply during the May 10 elections.

Among the options being considered was to lease and/or purchase of diesel generating sets and to encourage big industrial firms or commercial enterprises that generate their own electricity to sell their excess capacity. –Amy R. Remo Philippine Daily Inquirer

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