President Benigno Aquino III on Friday set the ultimatum to Mindanao residents: pay more or live with insufficient energy and rotating brownouts.
“What we need to realize is that the old days of cheap power are no longer sustainable, but we can maintain reasonable power rates. And you must also put in your fair share in solving this problem,” Aquino said in his speech during the Mindanao Power Summit in Davao City.
“Sa Tagalog po, ‘Ambag ambag tayo dito,’” he added.
The president explained that the increase in the electric bill will be used to provide incentives for businesses to come to Mindanao and put up more power plants there.
“You have to pay more because this is the reality of economics, not the rhetoric of politics. Everything has its price. We have to pay a real price for a real service,” he said.
Aquino said Mindanaoans may have to pay an additional fifty to sixty centavos per kilowatt hour which is in contrast to some claims that residents need to pay up to 14 pesos more per kilowatt hour.
The president further justified that the hike will not just help provide sufficient energy but it could attract investments and create jobs, and secure the future of the region.
“The dream is that, by the time I step down in 2016, this energy situation will be one less worry in the minds of Mindanaoans and investors in Mindanao alike—that by then, I can truthfully say that I left you in very good hands and in a very better state than what I have found,” he said.