Marcos supports Garcia’s proposed plan for BNPP

MARIVELES, Bataan– Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos expressed full support for Bataan Governor Albert S. Garcia’s proposal for the alternative use of the mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) in Morong town.

The statement was made during the media interview with Bataan reporters after the campaign caravan of senatorial candidates being supported by Hugpong Ng Pagbabago, a regional party led by Presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, held at the covered court of the Freeport Area of Bataan in this municipality last Wednesday.

“Itinuturing nyang (President Ferdinand Marcos) pinto ng Maynila ang Bataan. Lagi niyang sinasabi kapag bumagsak ang Bataan babagsak ang Maynila wala na ang Pilipinas kaya dito nya itinatag yung mga malalaking mga projects kagaya ng PNOC, EPZA at yung Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP),” Marcos said.

Marcos added that she recently talked to Governor Garcia about the proposed plan to convert the BNPP into a data center.

“BNPP can produce only 620 megawatts, ngayon ang pino-produce natin ditto from 2,000 megawatts baka this year 2019 siguro nasa 5,000 megawatts ang ipo-produce na enerhiya ng probinsiya hindi lang sa para sa Bataan kundi para sa bansa,” Governor Garcia said in a recent interview with Bataan press.

The BNPP is a nuclear power plant, completed but never fueled, on Bataan Peninsula, 100 kilometers west of Manila located on a 3.57 square kilometers government reservation at Napot Point in Morong, Bataan.

Bataan province is host to several power plants from various sources such as coal, natural gas and solar power.

In 2017, the Department of Energy has proposed turning the disused Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) into a data center, as the country continues to struggle with the legacy of the failed infrastructure project.

The agency insisted that its main goal is to make the site operational, despite the extensive modernization efforts required – and concerns over the fact that it is located near a major geological fault line and a volcano.

Published reports stated that the Duterte administration has secured PHP50 million (US$964,543) for a feasibility study to ascertain whether the power plant could be brought to life. Should that fail, the DOE will look into other options, foremost among them is into a data center conversion.

Meanwhile, Governor Marcos who is running for senator under the Nacionalista Party, calls to the government to crack down on cigarette smugglers and manufacturers of counterfeit tobacco products, which she said are killing the country’s two million tobacco farmers

She also asked the government to carefully study the impact of any massive cigarette excise tax increase on poor people like farmers and sari-sari store owners.

Marcos cited that fake cigarettes seized in 2018 hit a record-high of P20.250 billion, depriving the government of much-needed revenues.

Cigarette sales have decreased as prices have more than tripled since 2013, and this, according to the National Tobacco Administration, has translated into a drop in farm output by as much as 20 million kilos annually.

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