DAVAO CITY—The Aboitiz-owned Therma South Inc. (TSI) said it has started personnel hiring for its coal plant here, one year ahead of its scheduled start of operation.
The announcement may augur well for the energy-starved Mindanao grid, which needs 200 megawatts in its reserve at all times as a contingency. The source of power, however, has not been acceptable to environmentalists over pollution issues, as well as the cooling-water requirement that they and the host communities feared might compete with the population need for a steady and longer supply of potable water.
On Monday TSI said it was already accepting applications for employment for its 300-megawatt baseload power plant being constructed in the boundary of Davao City and Santa Cruz town, Davao del Sur.
The subsidiary of Aboitiz Power Corp. said “some 140 jobs are available from the power station manager down to office and administrative staff.”
“The number is expected to increase with the need for support service workers who will be outsourced to service companies,” it said.
“Hiring is ongoing as the power plant is expected to go full commercial operations by early 2015, bringing much-needed capacity for the Mindanao grid, suffering from an acute shortage in power supply,” the company statement said.
“True to our promise, we are offering these job positions to qualified residents from our host LGUs [local government units] Davao City and Santa Cruz,” said Benjie A. Cariaso, TSI president and chief operating officer.
He said the company “considers it better to hire from the locality.”
“However, for those positions where we cannot find qualified applicants from the locality, we will widen our search to the pool of applicants that we have received from different areas of the Philippines,” he said.
The company said it already posted job-wanted advertisements in local and national newspapers, “and the company has received hundreds of applications from Davao and the rest of the country.”
It said the available jobs were also posted in the barangay halls in Binugao and Inawayan.
TMI said it wanted to invite overseas Filipinos to join its work force, “and be closer to their families.”
“Mechanical and electrical engineers, especially those who have experience working in power plants and electric power-utility companies, are given preference. The company is also looking for young engineers who will be sent for training domestically and overseas to compose the backbone of the operations of the power plant,” the company said.
The company already hired several technical officers, it said, “and several have been sent for training and exposure in Cebu, Manila and even overseas.”
It said applications were open to fill positions of office personnel, from accounting, procurement and administrative officers.
Cariaso said TMI has accepted an engineer and a chemist from Barangay Binugao, and “both are now being considered for employment.”
“We have to make sure our power plant will be run by the most qualified, best trained and committed team,” he said.
The company said it hired more than 3,000 workers in the construction of the power-plant project. source