Lobregat MinPOW bill forwarded to TWG PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 06 March 2015 14:23

District 1 Congressman Celso Lobregat’s bill seeking the creation of the Mindanao Power Corporation (MinPOW) to help ensure long term adequate power to support Mindanao’s economic development has been forwarded to the Technical Working Group for discussion and subsequent submission to the proper committee for approval.

House Bill 2621 or the proposed “Charter of the Mindanao Power Corporation, one of Lobregat’s four bills authored in 2014, was deliberated last Wednesday, March 4 by the Committee on Government Enterprises and Privatization chaired by Rep. Sacdalan and Committee on Energy chaired by Rep. Umali.

The committee during the meeting decided to have the bill discussed in a Technical Working Group to be chaired by Rep. Masongsong. The timeline is second week of May and the TWG shall submit the report to the Committee for approval. It is expected that he bill will be submitted for plenary discussion by last week of May or early June.

Lobregat’s bill seeks the non-privatization of the Agus-Pulangi hydropower complexes, located in Lanao del Sur and Bukidnon provinces, which are considered the crown jewels of Mindanao power industry.

Lobregat said Republic Act 9136 of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001 was passed with the hope of securing the country’s power supply and reducing cost of electricity through greater competition and efficiency.

“To ensure long-term adequate power to support Mindanao’s economic development, this bill seeks the creation of the Mindanao Power Corporation (MinPOW), a standalone government-owned and controlled corporation, which shall be empowered to acquire the Agus-Pulangui complexes from NPC/PSALM and raise sufficient funds for operating, maintaining, and improving such assets efficiently,” he said adding that the bill  also provides for the Mindanao Power Fund, which ensures lessening subsidy by the National Government in any power crisis situation.

Sec. Lualhati Antonino, MinDA chairperson, was present during the said meeting March 4 and expressed support for the bill. Also present were the representatives from NPC, PSALM, GCG, power consumer groups, and academe. Bill Authors and some members of the Committee were also present. — Jubels Santos