Today, state-owned National Power Corporation (Napocor) will switch on its 300kW power plant in Pag-asa Island, Kalayaan Island Group at the West Philippine Sea as the country celebrates its 123rd Independence Day.
Napocor said it allotted P33 million for the project that covered the supply, delivery, and installation of the diesel generating sets, its 13.8 kV distribution line, and the fuel oil storage tanks that would ensure continuous fuel supply.
“Following the successful series of test and commissioning of the facility this week, we have seen that it is only fitting to formally switch on the power plant as the Armed Forces of the Philippines raises the Philippine Flag on the island on Independence Day,” said Napocor President and CEO Pio Benavidez.
Benavidez said that its Kalayaan Diesel Power Plant will provide round the clock power to the 68 facilities (housing facilities, government establishments and military camps) connected to the local distribution line.
Kalayaan Island, a fifth-class municipality under the Provincial Government of Palawan, has an airport runway, a daycare center, an elementary school, a fish landing center, a naval port, a municipal health center, and a couple of government offices like Comelec and Pagasa weather station. It opened to civilian settlement in 2002.
On Thursday, Malacanang said President Rodrigo Duterte would lead the country's 123rd Independence Day commemoration “outside Metro Manila” on Saturday but did not disclose the exact place for what the presidential spokesman said was “security reason.”
Some political observers were saying the President might attend the switching on of the Napocor power plant on Pag-asa Island, but this could not be confirmed by Malacañang on the eve of the celebration.
Filipinos annually celebrate Independence Day every June 12, which is declared a regular holiday.
The country’s first president, Emilio Aguinaldo, proclaimed the country's independence from the Spanish colonial rule in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898.
Aguinaldo’s proclamation of independence made the Philippines Asia’s first free nation from the clout of Western powers.
Roque said Filipinos would do everything to defend the country’s freedom.
“Our message is that Filipinos, from the very start, are ready to sacrifice their lives for the freedom of the nation,” he said.
On June 12, 2020, Duterte skipped the ceremonies for the celebration of Independence Day at the Rizal Park in Manila due to the limited number of participants in last year’s event.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases allowed the celebration of Independence Day last year despite the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, on condition that only 10 persons would attend the event.
Duterte in 2019 led the celebration of the 121st Independence Day at the 6th Infantry Battalion headquarters in Malabang, Lanao del Sur.
In 2018, Duterte delivered his first keynote speech for Independence Day at the Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite.