Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino vice presidential candidate Jojo Binay blamed the Arroyo administration’s mismanagement of the country’s affairs that led to one crisis after the other, calling it a result of “chopsuey” planning.
Binay said the problems bedeviling the country today – rice shortage, increasing sugar prices and power outages – would have been averted had President Gloria Arroyo set her priorities right during her nine years in office. “Kapag nagkaroon po ng krisis sa bigas, krisis sa asukal krisis sa kuryente, isa lang po ang sasabihin natin diyan: mali ang planning, mali ang priorities, mali ang pananaw. Sa kabuuan, mali po ang pamamahala,” Binay said in a radio interview.
The mayor of Makati zeroed in on the lack of long-term planning to deal with the worsening energy problem, which should have been the priority of the government from day one. “Kada taon na lamang ay may problema tayo sa energy. Sukdulan na ang pagtitiis sa ganitong pamamahala,” he said.
In Cebu alone, a major industrial hub second to Metro Manila is experiencing rotating power outages at least three times a day, hurting its export and tourism industries, the backbone of the local economy.
Government data shows that peak power demand in the province reaches 1,175 megawatts versus available power supply of only 1,140 megawatts due to aging and inefficient power plants.
To solve the perennial power outages, the government should make use of the abundant natural sources of energy in the country and tap alternative sources that are friendly to the environment, said Binay, who also heads the United Opposition (UNO).
Binay said the next administration must invest in alternative sources of energy like solar and wind power, as well as hydropower, to ease power interruptions.
Since putting in place a comprehensive energy project would entail a huge amount of funding, Binay proposed to implement the plan stage by stage.
“Sa simula’t sapul, alam mo ang problemang haharapin mo. Siyam na taon po na president si Mrs. Arroyo pero ‘di nila ito pinag-ukulan ng tama,” Binay lamented. “So ang puno’t dulo po niyan… ang sama-sama ng priorities ni Mrs. Arroyo. All told, she didn’t properly manage the country.”