By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte said the New People’s Army (NPA) are welcome to benefit from the newly completed 420-megawatt (MW) Pagbilao Unit 3 power project as he led the inauguration of the new facility.
In his speech in Pagbilao, Quezon, Duterte said the NPAs should thank Aboitiz Power Corporation because they are able to run their equipment because of them.
“The opening of this 420-megawatt plant will provide employment and business opportunities to residents Quezon including the NPAs should they decide to drop their arms and stop fighting,” Duterte said Thursday afternoon.
“You should thank the Aboitiz for setting up this equipment because you can run all your machines or whatever you have, pati na ‘yung lahat, pati ‘yung ilaw ninyo diyan sa bukid (everything including your lights there at the fields),” he added.
“Isang bala niyan (A bullet) would cost the government about P70. Ilang bigas na ang mabili ko para sa mga tao (I can buy plenty of rice for the Filipino with that amount). You might not need it but the other Filipinos—90 percent of our countrymen are really poor,” he continued.
Meanwhile, Duterte expressed confidence that the new power facility will be able to brighten the entire Quezon province, and even the National Capital Region (NCR), and also aid the government in supplying the electricity demands in the country.
“This new facility will provide, will brighten all of Quezon and even the— ‘yung NPA magkaroon ng ilaw ang mga buang (the NPA, those idiots will have electricity, as well),” he said.
“Without doubt this joint venture between Aboitiz and Team A Energy has ensured energy sustainability that will allow us to support the electric demands of the country. Your multiple investments across the archipelago surely bolsters our efforts in advancing the country’s development,” he added.
The President also thanked the administration’s partners in the private sector for helping the government deliver services to the people.
“This event reaffirms not only the government’s commitment to empower our citizens into proactive agents of social transformation, but also the private sector’s crucial role in augmenting our local industries,” Duterte said.
“Through its distribution of reliable and affordable electricity, it will also complement our programs and policies that will lay the foundations of a comfortable and productive life for all,” he added.
Duterte, meanwhile, reminded the government’s private partners to keep the environment clean and follow environmental laws as the administration has been clear about safeguarding the environment for future generations.
“I encourage our private partners to find viable and sustainable solutions that will deliver reliable and inexpensive electricity to our homes and industries,” he said.
“It is my hope that you will continue to introduce technological breakthroughs and advancements that will ensure cleaner power generation facilities,” he added.
“We intend to have more compliant companies and power plants that prevent damage and reduce emission from harmful effects in the years to come,” he continued.
The newly-built US$976-million Pagbilao Unit 3 power project is a coal-fired generating facility and merchant power plant that is expected to boost and stabilize energy supply in the Luzon grid, while generating billions of pesos in various taxes for the national and local government in the coming years.
It is located at the Pagbilao Power Station. The first two units, Units 1 and 2, have a total generating capacity of 735 MW.