Tag Archives: Bukidnon

Inside Bukidnon

BusinessWeek Mindanao
Ped T. Quiamjot
August 16, 2010

THE biggest province in Region 10 and rank eight in the Philippines in terms of land area stretching 1,049, 862 hectares or 10,498.56 square kilometers, Bukidnon is slightly elevated and centrally located. With 669,529.25 hectares classified as timberland, it receives the highest rainfall in a year making agricultural land moist and productive while the lakes and rivers runs abundant with water serving as a watershed for Cagayan de Oro City and aquifer for Davao City. Its mountain ranges and plateaus stretches down to Cotabato. Out of the typhoon belt area, the province has 380,332.75 hectares of alienable and disposable land, 92% is utilized for agricultural production.

Major crops planted in Bukidnon are sugar cane, corn and rice in that order. These three major crops grown contribute to the subsidy of the national economic demand. Sugar production alone capitalized by BUSCO Sugar Milling rank number two in terms of tonnage among the producers in the entire Philippines. Sugar cane waste in a form of molasses can be refined to alcohol and ingredients for bio-ethanol. Another milling, Crystal Sugar shares the requirements of the multinational institutional buyers. While large agri-business pioneered by Del Monte and Dole Philippines ventures into pineapple plantation, banana growing, cassava production and high value crops that goes to the domestic and export market. Robusta coffee under the Monks brand remains a cravings and trade mark among the countries high society and always available in many 5-star hotels in Manila.

Bukidnon has important river systems that can draw investors for hydro electric power to alleviate the high power demand in the region. It has various lakes that dot the landscape ideal for eco-tourism and high end resort and Spa development. Province wide, it has a stable peace and order that draws confidence among big contract growers the likes of San Miguel, Monterey Farms, Swifts Foods, Purefoods, Vitarich and Rebisco into food manufacturing sourcing their live stocks and materials from the green fields and fertile land.

With a growing Agri-industrial economy synergized with key government programs in place that uplifts livelihood, health care, hospital systems and education.

Bukidnon is a good location for a retirement community among foreign expatriates who can easily be attracted to the weather and the clean environment consisting of natural and adventure parks, a world class championship golf course, mountain ranges and fresh body of healing water that transform into lakes harmonized with nature.

Two major high end realty holdings have recently opened for business, W. Brown and Menzi Orchards with their prize development in the towns of Malaybalay and Manolo Fortich have attracted investors bringing lifestyles and luxuries to those who can afford the calm and holistic settings.

Retail business has prospered too with the expansion of the Gaisano group taking advantage of the high capita income of the province.

Inside Bukidnon, even the departed have a place in progress and serenity as Pryce Corporation launched two state of the art memorial parks in Mambatangan and Malaybalay Gardens.

It rises as final resting place among the esteemed that rides the saddle of hard work and prosperity and have reached their time.

Inside Bukidnon, it is a highland paradise among the living where business is guaranteed a return of investments from the conduits of the financial institutions extending agricultural loans to the farmers and the growers.

Gov’t to keep Mindanao hydroelectric power plants

By Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 08/18/2010

THE DEPARTMENT of Energy will no longer privatize or offer to investors the 955-megawatt Agus and Pulangi hydropower plants in Mindanao as these are expected to help stabilize supply and electricity prices on the island.

“I’m not eager to sell [the hydro facilities] because I think part of the solution to the Mindanao situation is the appropriate use of those [plants] not just for supply but in the pricing equation,” said Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras.

The two facilities are critical power assets as these currently provide more than half of Mindanao’s electricity supply.

At the sidelines of the mid-year economic briefing Wednesday, Almendras said that he has informed the state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) that “we would like to recommend that we do not sell Agus and Pulangi.”

The energy chief acknowledged that the DOE had to seek a confirmation or a go-ahead from the Joint Congressional Power Commission (JCPC) to allow it to keep the facilities.

Under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira), the government is mandated to privatize all its power generation assets, including the Agus and Pulangi facilities.

“So hopefully, Congress will [allow] us. I will have to explain to Congress why we don’t want to [privatize the facilities],” Almendras said.

“[The Agus and Pulangi are] not yet for sale. We don’t want to sell it yet, or maybe how long that will be, it will depend on how soon we can achieve true pricing [in Mindanao] and make appropriate adjustments to encourage investments,” Almendras pointed out.

Since it relies heavily on hydropower, Mindanao was the hardest hit by the prolonged drought experienced earlier this year, during which the island suffered power outages lasting up to 12 hours daily.

It was only in July and August this year, with the onset of the rainy season, did the power supply situation in Mindanao began to stabilize.

Last May, former Energy Secretary Jose C. Ibazeta stressed the need to sell all government-owned power-generation assets despite the opposition raised by a number of civil and nongovernment groups.

PSALM was even planning to start preparations for the planned privatization of the hydroelectric facilities by the end of the year. A number of prospective investors had expressed interest in the Agus and Pulangi hydropower plants, including Norway-based Statkraft Norfund Power Invest AS (SN Power).

The Agus hydropower facilities have seven units that can generate a total of 700 MW. Agus 6, the first of the seven units, was constructed in 1953 while the newest of the power plants was Agus 1, which began operating in 1992.

The Pulangi hydropower plant in Bukidnon can generate 255 MW. It began operating commercially in 1985.