The government must ensure the safety of Indigenous Peoples (IP) communities and the protection of the environment in its quest for possible power sources and stability of water supply.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said all options must be weighed, especially large rivers where IPs may be residing.
“Dapat timbangin natin. Ang mga IP at ang environment, kailangang maging balance tayo para naman hindi sila malagay sa alanganin (We must weigh all options, the IPs and environment. We need to balance them in order not to put them in trouble),” Gatchalian said during a media briefing on Tuesday.
Gatchalian said lack of water supply will also affect energy resources, considering that 10 percent of power supply in the country come from hydropower plants.
Gatchalian previously told the Energy Regulatory Commission to impose penalties and file charges against electricity distributors that “over-contract” power supply to the detriment of consumers who pay for them.
Over-contracting is the practice of power distributors, including electric cooperatives, of purchasing more than the consumers’ electricity demand during a certain period.
Allaying fears of power outage, Gatchalian said he was assured by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines that it has enough reserve energy during the hot dry season. (PNA)