Loren: Tree-cutting cause of Mindanao power crisis


DAVAO CITY—Reelectionist Senator Loren Legarda has called for the creation of a body that would oversee the proper management of Lake Lanao amid the power crisis Mindanao is currently suffering from.

Legarda, chair of the Senate climate change committee, said the need for a clear framework in managing Lake Lanao and its watershed resources becomes more imperative and urgent with the continued brownouts being experienced in Mindanao.

Legarda blamed the worsening deforestation of watersheds, including those in Lake Lanao, and the siltation of river systems as among the reasons for the power crisis.

She said the continued deterioration of Lake Lanao has affected the supply of water from the lake for six of Mindanao’s existing hydroelectric power plants, including Agus, which are collectively responsible for 70 percent of the island’s energy needs.

The National Power Corp. earlier said it has been regulating the flow of water in the hydroelectric power plants to ensure enough supply in the coming elections.

Legarda has filed Senate Bill No. 3097, a bill establishing an effective policy and regulatory administration over Lake Lanao through the proposed Lake Lanao Development Authority.

The proposed body would ensure the promotion and development of Lake Lanao in a sustainable manner, she said.

“The Lake Lanao Development Authority shall have the exclusive jurisdiction to issue Environmental Compliance Certificates (ECCs) … and grant permits for any projects or activities in or affecting the Lake Lanao Area,” she said. Nico Alconaba, Inquirer Mindanao

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