MANILA: The government has decided to scrap the annual $1 million maintenance fund allocated for the mothballed nuclear power plant in Bataan province in Central Luzon, thus effectively closing down the controversial facility, according to a Malacanang Palace official.
Secretary Florencio Abad of the Department of Budget and Management disclosed the decision was reached during a cabinet meeting presided over by President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino at the Palace.
“We decided to remove the $1 million maintenance fund from the proposed 2014 national budget without the facility producing a single watt of electricity,” Abad explained.
He added Aquino and the cabinet agreed the $1 million could be used for “productive purposes,” adding the maintenance personnel the facility would be returned to the state-owned National Power Corporation (Napocor).
And in doing so, Abad also confirmed the decision has effectively shut down the controversial facility set up by the US-based Westinghouse company during the time of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos amid charges of massive corruption that allegedly benefited him, members of his family and their cronies.
It likewise set aside attempts from various quarters for the revival of the facility which was mothballed during the time of Aquino’s mother late late global democracy icon president Corazon Aquino, to help solve a looming serious power shortage in the next three years.