07 May 2012
BATO, Catanduanes -- President Benigno Simeon Aquino III visited Catanduanes Wednesday (May 2) and led the inauguration of the Doppler radar facility in Barangay Buenavista here and switching on of the Sulong and Hitoma I mini-hydro power plants.
In his speech, Aquino expressed his gratitude to the Japanese government for its invaluable support to the country’s efforts in nation building, while specifically in Wednesday event for the country's disaster risk reduction, preparedness and mitigation measures with the operationalization of the Doppler radar .
“Japan has been a true friend of our country, always ready to assist us in shaping a more progressive Philippines,” Aquino said.
The Doppler radar was brought to the country by the Japanese government through its grants-in-aid program and is one of the three state-of-the-art radar facility being built in the Philippines that uses the solid-state technology developed by Japanese engineers.
Due to the facility’s location in the pacific, Department of Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo said that the facility in Bato town is the most vital and strategic weather installation in the Philippines.
The 44-meter-tall radar tower built on top of a mountain in Barangay Buenavista amounting P560 million is expected to provide accurate weather and rainfall forecasting for the entire Bicol region and portions in Eastern Visayas.
Aside from inaugurating the Doppler facility, the President also led the switching-on of the Solong and Hitoma 1 mini-hydro power plants which according to the President is harnessing the power of nature.
“While this Doppler radar enhances our ability to deal with nature’s fury, we are also here to take advantage of nature’s bounty. By flicking on the Solong and Hitoma 1 mini-hydropower plants, we are harnessing the power of nature,” Aquino noted.
“We will be using the river currents that go through this island to provide power to the people of Catanduanes,” he stressed.
The Solong and Hitoma 1 mini-hydro power plants are the first ever to be developed by Sunwest Water and Electricity Inc. (SUWECO)- a private entity under the special power utilities groups (SPUG) of the National Power Corporation. (MAL/EAB-PIA 5, Catanduanes)
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