THE Island Garden City of Samal’s (Igacos) tourism industry has suffered a significant setback, with tourist arrivals plummeting from 20 percent to 10 percent due to unresolved electricity issues. This has not only disrupted the daily lives of residents but also impacted their livelihoods.
Igacos Mayor Al David Uy explained in a recent radio interview that while the provincial government unit had procured a generator set, it proved insufficient to meet the surging demand for electricity.
“Nagamit na pero kulang gihapon, nagkadako ang demand maong kulang ang supply (We’ve already used the generator, but it remains inadequate because of the rising demand, which has outstripped the available supply),” Uy said.
He emphasized the critical role of a stable power supply, particularly for the numerous establishments and resorts on the island.
To address power shortages in remote areas, especially in Talikod Island, where frequent power interruptions are experienced, the government has invested in two generators totaling P9 million.
Igacos residents have been grappling with prolonged and frequent brownouts, affecting not only their daily lives but also the local tourism sector.
The Northern Davao Electric Cooperative Inc. (Nordeco), responsible for managing the power supply in Samal, has contradicted claims made by Davao del Norte Governor Edwin Jubahib, asserting that his statements were “baseless and inaccurate.”
In March, approximately 3,000 individuals staged a protest rally in Tagum City to voice their concerns about exorbitant power rates and incessant blackouts.
As a result, Jubahib, alongside representatives from the cooperative, the Davao Consumer Movement, and a lawyer from the National Electrification Administration (NEA), participated in a joint Senate committee hearing in July 2023. The hearing was organized by committees on energy, trade, commerce, and entrepreneurship.
In response to the recurring power outages in Samal, Nordeco has implemented the use of modular generator sets to alleviate the issue. This move came after a submarine cable was damaged by the anchor of M/V Ecuador from Seaview Cargo Shipping Corporation, exacerbating the blackout problem, particularly in Samal. DEF