As power crisis worsens: Beng convenes Mindanao solons for briefing Print
Thursday, 15 March 2012 16:15

House Deputy Speaker for Mindanao and District I Representative Beng Climaco has asked the Joint Congressional Power Commission (JCPC) chaired by Sen. Sergio Osmeña III to include the ongoing Mindanao power crisis in the priority agenda of the JPC.

Cong. Climaco, who is a member of the JCPC made the urgent appeal to both commission chair Osmeña and co-chair Rep. Henedina Abad amid rolling brownouts imposed in Zamboanga and all other areas in Mindanao.

“My constituents in Zamboanga and those living across Mindanao are currently experiencing rolling brownouts. There is an urgent need to oversee the energy policy implementation in Mindanao. Please note that there is no water shortage unlike in 2010”, Cong. Climaco said in a letter, as she urged the JCPC to ensure that there is no manipulation of supply of electricity in Mindanao. “The Department of Energy (DOE) and the major power generators should be invited to shed light on the Mindanao power situation”.

Yesterday, March 13, the Committee on Energy of the House of Representatives through Chairperson Rep. Abad responded to the request of Deputy Speaker Climaco and immediately coordinated with Department of Energy for a briefing with members of the Lower House coming from Mindanao.
Energy Undersecretary Ina Asirit gave the briefing on behalf of Secretary Rene Almendras and joined by officials of from NGCP, National Power
Corporation, the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp, and Energy Regulatory Commission.

Usec. Asirit explained about the Mindanao grid supply and demand in which the projected peak demand (March 2012) is 1,300 MW while the available capacity comprised of 622 MW Hydroelectric and 527 MW Thermal (as of March 11, 2012) is only 1,149 MW. The deficit reached 151 MW.

As the representative of the First District of Zamboanga City and member of the Joint Congressional Power Commission, Deputy Speaker Climaco pushed for a resolution embodying the following measures, one, to give due consideration to provinces and municipalities that host power plant energy sources; second, If and when absolutely necessary, NGCP must implement an abrupt power disconnection to avoid or minimize damage to equipment (instead of gradual disconnections and third, various government agencies should sit down and discuss proposed solutions to the Mindanao Power Crisis, instead of pointing fingers at each other.

“At this point, we call on all the stakeholders to cooperate and work together to solve the Mindanao power crisis. Personally, I am working with an energy law expert to come up with possible legislation specifically tailored to avert the Mindanao Power Crisis today and the near future,” Deputy Speaker Climaco added.

Deputy Speaker Climaco thanked Sec. Luwalhati Antonino of Mindanao Development Authority (MINDA) and the Mindanao legislators for their attendance on the said meeting as significant issues and concerns relating to Mindanao power situation were explained by DOE. --Marvin Segura