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NPC to Energize Catanduanes’ Tourism Island of Palumbanes

CARAMORAN, Catanduanes, March 25 (PNA) -- Wooden poles interconnected by electricity lines now stand around the small community occupying Palumbanes Island, the fishing paradise that is emerging as a favorite tourist destination for its diving site gifted with rich marine life.

Through this installation put in place by the First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative (Ficelco), the island and the 249 households comprising Barangay Toytoy that covers the area will be provided with electricity to be produced by a 200-kilowatt diesel-fired generator set which the National Power Corporation (NPC) will deliver soon.

Mayor Agnes Popa said here Saturday that a contractor of the NPC is set to begin this week the installation of the generator set and a 30-kVA power transformer that is expected to be completed in six months.

This means that by August, Palumbanes will already be enjoying reliable power supply which would light up the island and the houses at least for six hours between six in the evening until midnight daily.
This will put an end to its people’s long quest for power which they never enjoyed since electricity was first introduced in the province decades back,
Popa said.

The energization of Palumbanes, according to the NPC, is under the agency’s Off-Grid Electrification Project costing over P6.5 million implemented under its missionary electrification program.

The power supply in these off-grid areas is supplied by Napocor's Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG) whose rates are subsidized by consumers.

The electricity, according to the mayor, will be sold to residents of Palumbanes at a rate that is about 80 centavos cheaper than what is charged on the bulk of the power cooperative’s 45,000 customers on the main island.
This will be a big boost to our tourism industry,

she said, describing Palumbanes Island, an about 50-hectare landmass here, as surrounded by a body of water that is considered a fishing paradise and diving site.

White sand beaches that attract excursionists and tourists ring the island that could be reached through a 30-minute boat ride from the mini port of this third class municipality located in the northern part of Catanduanes, about 87 kilometers from Virac, the provincial capital.

The white beaches and clean sea water of Palumbanes and the Awinis and Carinhongo Falls located in Barangays Tubli and Tucao, respectively, are tourist attractions in the municipality whose land area of over 252 square kilometers is the largest in the province.

LAM/FGS/DOC/CBD/ABB

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