Celso asks DOE to increase power load supply to Zambo PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 16 April 2012 13:42

Mayor Celso Lobregat has strongly requested Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras to increase load allocation and dispatch of power to Zamboanga City through ZAMCELCO citing provisions of Republic Act 7639 in the wake of the worsening power situation in Mindanao.

This, after the Chief Executive officially submitted during the Mindanao Power Summit in Davao City, Friday, the issues, concerns and proposed solutions to the Zamboanga power situation.

In a formal letter addressed to Almendras dated April 15, Mayor Lobregat said Zamboanga City is at the end of the power loop and is experiencing 5-hour brownouts a day, making it one of the hardest hit areas in Mindanao.

This situation, he stressed, is despite the fact that Zamboanga City is the host of a 100MW power generating plant operated by the Western Mindanao Power Corporation (WMPC), which is located in barangay Sangali.

Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Section 5(i) of RA 7638, specifically Section 6(b) on Prioritization of Load Dispatch makes possible his request for increased/ additional load allocation for the host area, according to Lobregat. The  law states that “in times of energy shortage, the energy-generating capacity (whichever is lower) which shall be delivered to the appropriate electric utility for distribution to the official resettlement/relocation sites of the community and people affected, and thereafter, to the relevant host LGU or host region...”.

“We are respectfully and urgently requesting the Department of Energy to immediately act, prioritize and increase the load allocation/ dispatch of the contracted or available capacity to be delivered to the electric utility/ cooperative in Zamboanga City (ZAMCELCO), in line with the objectives of RA 7638 of devising ways and means of giving direct benefits to the LGU, especially the community which hosts the energy generating facility”, the mayor appealed in his letter.

In Davao City last weekend, the mayor had the chance of discussing the matter with DOE Chief of Staff and Undersecretary Atty. Ina Magpale-Asirit, with whom he submitted the Zamboanga power stakeholders’ manifesto containing the issues, concerns and proposed solutions to the power situation here.

The manifesto, signed by representatives from various sectors, was the result of a meeting convened by Mayor Lobregat in cooperation with House
Deputy Speaker Beng Climaco in City Hall Wednesday night where power stakeholders in the city were asked to share and discuss issues and concerns related to power.

“Given the growing demand and limited supply of power in the entire Mindanao, we support the establishment of baseload power plants in Zamboanga City consistent with environmental laws and policies, and seriously urge the National Government to create a conducive environment for the private sector to invest in the power sector and expedite the processing serious proposals and, to explore all alternative sources of energy”, the manifesto states.

The Mindanao Power Summit, organized by Mindanao Development Authority Chair Secretary Luwalhati Antonino in collaboration with the Department of Energy, was graced by no less than President Noynoy Aquino. It was intended to present the overview of the real Mindanao power situation, generate and discuss consensus attendant to the power problem and the corresponding immediate solutions and assure the general public of definitive measures taken not just by the government but also by the power stakeholders.

Lobregat together with Rep. Climaco, who briefed Summit participants about Mindanao Legislative Energy Measures and other Zamboanga stakeholders, attended the important event held at the Waterfront Hotel in Davao City.

As this developed, Lobregat also wrote Rep. Climaco requesting her to make proper representations with the DOE to urgently act on the request for increase of load allocation of contracted or available capacity to be delivered to Zamcelco. A similar request was also made to  to WMPC Manager Jose Marie Torrejon.

The mayor also wrote ZAMCELCO Project Supervisoro Engr. Jesus Castro asking for the passage of the necessary resolution regarding the request  by the Zamcelco Board. — Sheila Covarrubias