Congressman-elect Eulogio Rodriguez’s “untimely” statement on the submarine cable project being pursued by the National Transmission Corporation has drawn criticism from netizens on social media.
In a recent statement to a government radio station, Rodriguez said the submarine cable project, which seeks to connect the Catanduanes island grid to the Luzon main grid, is not yet needed at this time.
“Para sakuya dai pa napapanahon. Sakuya lang, an gibuhon muna su mga alternatibong solusyon. Agaran na solusyon na muna. Su mga posible na muna. Bako duman sa dai pa kita sigurado,” the congressman-elect was quoted as saying.
Instead, he added, he is planning to talk with the lone power supplier and the distribution company in order to determine what really is the problem with regards to the unstable and unreliable power supply and provide an immediate solution.
He vowed to assist both parties in addressing said problems, including the provision of additional power plants, rehabilitation of distribution lines and computerization of the system.
Rodriguez likewise said he will look into the use of renewable energy sources in the province.
Last May 9, 2022, the former mayor of Bato town defeated incumbent Rep. Hector Sanchez, who had initiated the P4-billion grid interconnection project together with TransCo.
Last April 20, 2022, Transco technical personnel as well as the engineering departments of the First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative Inc. (FICELCO) and the Camarines Sur Electric Cooperative IV (CASURECO IV) conducted a site inspection of the proposed route of the 69KV transmission line from Presentacion to Colongcogong, Caramoan.
From Caramoan, the transmission line will be linked by two submarine cables crossing the 10-kilometer Maqueda channel towards Asgad-Codon area in San Andres, Catanduanes where it will connect with the National Power Corporation’s substation and the Catanduanes island grid.
Just last January, Transco disclosed in its Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) 2020-2040 that it will launch a national off-grid system operator (SO) system in August, including Catanduanes which its consultant, UP Prof. Rowaldo del Mundo, said will be the pilot province for the grid interconnection program.
Disappointed at the congressman-elect’s stand on the project, netizen Renato commented that the solon should instead support the grid interconnection project since a new investment in renewable energy would need a baseload power supply to regulate the intermittent power of renewable energy sources.
On the other hand, former NPC veteran Agerico Isorena told Rodriguez that the submarine cable project was actually proposed 40 years ago when the Tiwi geotherman plant was constructed in the late 70s, with the plant to be interconnected to nearby islands.
He suggested that the congressman-elect conduct representations with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to construct the project.
Rodriguez, he said, could also initiate the development of wind power resources in Catanduanes and file a bill increasing the authorized distribution charge of electricity distributors on off-grid areas like Catanduanes to finance the replacement of distribution lines.