Zayco to hasten geothermal exploration


NEGROS Occidental Governor Isidro Zayco said Thursday he plans to fast track the geothermal project of the Philippine National Oil Corporation – Energy Development Corporation (PNOC-EDC) inside the Mt. Kanlaon buffer zone.

He however said, he has yet to receive the memorandum of agreement (MOA) from the Provincial Board on the proposed geothermal exploration.

The MOA, to be signed by Zayco on behalf of the province, represents the endorsement for the oil corporation to enter the buffer zone and drill an additional well.

The well is expected to emit an equivalent 49-megawatt of electricity.

The said project is vehemently opposed by the local church and environmentalists.

Zayco however said, Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes is fully supportive of the initiative. “Secretary Reyes assured me that he will take full responsibility of whatever PNOC-EDC will do inside the buffer zone,” he said.

“He said, whatever PNOC-EDC will not comply, my office will take responsibility as this is really the mandate of DOE in the first place,” Zayco quoted Reyes as saying.

Reyes said in his speech as guest of honor and speaker in the province’s Independence Day celebration said, the “other” kind of independence the Philippines should have, is the independence in power.”

Reyes urged Negrenses to answer the challenge of going into alternative energy which is clean, efficient and sustainable, adding that “solar, wind, ocean, hydro, geothermal and biomass are the energy of the future that the Negrenses must tap to switch from a culture of extravagance of waste to efficiency.” (Gil Alfredo Severino)

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