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Bro. Eddie talks economics at Smokey Mountain

Eddie Villanueva: Set up people’s banks like those in Thailand

Evangelist Eddie Villanueva on Sunday signed a covenant with over 100 urban poor leaders in Manila’s Smokey Mountain, vowing to champion the cause of the saguiguilid, or the country’s marginalized sectors, by giving them a bigger role in the country’s economic development.

During simple rites in the Tondo community, the Bangon Pilipinas party’s lone senatorial candidate said that if elected, he would sponsor legislation “that will make urban poor groups the backbone of inclusive economic growth in the country.”

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“With the recent strengthening of the economy, no one should be left behind,” said Villanueva, who said his party is “committed to an inclusive growth that strengthens the economics for the economy of the saguiguilid.”

“We will concentrate on, among other things, industrial development based on agricultural modernization and manufacturing,” he said.

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The Jesus is Lord church founder and leader also promised to assist commoners who venture into business.

“In particular, I would borrow Thailand’s microentrepreneur model with the creation of people’s banks where microentrepreneurs can take out loans without collateral as startup capital,” he said.

According to Villanueva, the model, which will give poor and marginalized groups a chance at building their own livelihood, will be part of his priority legislation.

“As true servant-leaders, we must strive to work for the betterment of those who have less in life,” he added.

At the same time, Villanueva urged the government to shoulder the procurement cost of diesel generation sets that the Department of Energy (DOE) plans to use as a short-term solution to the Mindanao power crisis.

“This is a more plausible alternative to the DOE plan to offer modular 0.5 to 1-megawatt capacity diesel generator sets through a $200-million loan facility the agency is considering to make available to electric cooperatives in the southern Philippines,” he said.

“Placing the burden of procuring the generator sets on electric cooperatives will make this solution less acceptable for the same cooperatives that will be forced to pass on the added cost to their respective consumers,” he added.

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He warned that the poorest households in Mindanao would be most affected by the higher electricity bills resulting from this additional pass-on cost.

“The government should own up to its failure to develop Mindanao’s power generating capacity that has now resulted in rolling brownouts in some parts of the region. As such, it should shoulder the cost of implementing stop-gap measures to meet the region’s power requirements while the construction of base load power plans is ongoing,” he said.

Villanueva noted that power shortages are already plaguing the region.

“That is why, the Aquino administration should not waste time trying to entice electric cooperatives to take on its loan offer and instead take on the more actionable route of going ahead with the procurement of generator sets and deploying them to electric cooperatives,” he said.

Villanueva believes “the deployment of diesel-fired generation sets should only be viewed as an immediate-term measure to shore up power supply in Mindanao.”

“The government should also aggressively develop the region’s generating capacity as a long-term solution to its power woes,” he said.

Villanueva also urged the DOE to grant incentives for the development of new power facilities, saying the government needs to build additional generation capacity in Mindanao to meet not only present power requirements but to satisfy future growth in the region’s power demand.

The power situation in the southern Philippines calls for the development of alternative energy sources like solar facilities, run-of-the-river and biomass power plants to decrease the grid’s dependence on hydropower which produces less power during the summer months, he added.

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TAGS: covenant, Eddie Villanueva, Elections, Manila, people’s banks, Philippines, political campaigns, Politics, urban poor
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