October 22, 2006


Projects should not just be on paper

If the presence of Super regions czar Arthur Yap during the three-day Ilocos Norte investment summit is an indication, then the Arroyo government has not left the so-called Marcos country in the cold, after all.

Initially, many wondered why only the wind power plants in the towns of Bangui and Burgos made it on the development list of the Presidentís super regions program when key installations, which are necessary to pave the way for the North Luzon Agribusiness Quadrangle, are wanting of life-saving support.

The truth is, the Laoag International Airport, by international standards, is still fledgling. The Currimao port is hardly felt in terms of business activity.†

Observers noted that it does not pay to be a political foe of the Arroyo government. Look at neighboring Ilocos Sur, which cornered a big slice of the super regions project. That the Arroyo government has a lot to return to Chavit Singson is obvious.†

Meanwhile, the wind farm in Bangui, built and owned by the Northwind Power Development Corp., is already operational and feeding power to Ilocos Norte consumers. One might ask... why the need for another wind power plant in Burgos?

According to Yap, the proposed North Luzon wind power project in Burgos town will help the regionís agri-business to be globally competitive in the Asian market. As correctly pointed out, the power industry is crucial so that the NLAQ will take off.

Ilocos Norte Gov. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., has declared that the power produced by Northwind is more than enough locally. However, Ilocos Norte has become the gateway for Northern Luzon, which necessarily means that it has to accommodate the power requirements of other sectors within the Region.

Whether or not Marcos agrees with the national governmentís agenda can be gleaned from the governorís statement that Ilocos Norte will pursue projects outside of the power projects outlined in the NLAQ. Marcos sees a different priority from the ground and these are tourism and agri-business.

Perhaps, the governor is confident that the power project no longer needs government support any more than tourism and agri-business? Perhaps, the governor only wants to project that, being on the other side of the political fence, that there are differences even in development initiatives?

Whatever, the people want these projects to take off regardless of who will push what sector. If the Arroyo government wants to strengthen the power sector, that would benefit the people. If the governor wants to develop tourism and agri-business, that would be equally beneficial. In the end, both are win-win projects for the people. And finally, we hope that all the projects are not just merely on paper.

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Projects should not just be on paper

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