Beng hopes power woes get resolved PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 23 April 2012 14:35

House Deputy Speaker and District 1Congresswoman Beng Climaco is hopeful that the power problem will be resolved after the conduct of the Mindanao Power Summit in Davao last week.

Climaco said she is optimistic that after the Summit, which was organized jointly by the Mindanao Development Authority and the Department of Energy, there will be clear direction of what concrete steps that the government will take concerning the power crisis in this part of the country.

She stressed that the eight-hour power outage has been very difficult and costly for people in most parts of Mindanao including Zamboanga City.

“As we have put into place recommendations to the President, we are also looking for solutions to expedite its [power crisis] resolution,” the lady solon said.

Climaco presented during the Mindanao Power Summit the current status of measures taken in Congress and the legislative agenda being pursued by the Mindanao lawmakers in ensuring reliable and sustainable power supply in Mindanao.

Currently, Climaco together with other colleagues in Congress already filed House Resolution No. 2303 that urges Department of Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras to implement necessary measures to alleviate the power supply situation in Mindanao and adopted House Resolution No. 823 urging the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Corporation to defer the sale and privatization of the Agus and Pulangi Hydroelectric Plant Complexes in Mindanao.  

HR No. 2303 urges Sec. Almedras to make representation with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to allow the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to reduce the required reserve margin from 250 megawatts (MW) to 150MW to enable the NGCP to increase available capacity by 100MW.

The resolution also pursues the selective dredging/flushing of the Pulangi River to bring the Pulangi Hydroelectric Power Plant back to its installed generating capacity and also targets to direct the NPC to conduct further studies on the best alternatives to restore the installed generating capacities of the Agus and Pulangi complexes. It also eyes the deferment of sale of the four remaining power barges and instead rehabilitate and operate the same to provide additional power supply to Mindanao and pursue the construction of the Agus 3 to provide additional 300MW of additional generation capacity.
Climaco believes that the government policy on Agus-Pulangi is in limbo. “There is a resolution in the lower house deferring the privatization of these assets but there is no definite policy from government. There should be a declaration that these complexes shall not be privatized for the benefit of the people in Mindanao,” she stressed.

“There are many interested investors in power generation in Mindanao but merely wait and see on the government’s policy on Agus-Pulangi. It is not true that continued government ownership would discourage competition. On the other hand, privatization would only be giving market power to a private entity. If left with government without the profit motive, hydropower can blend power rates and mitigate spikes in power prices” the District I representative stressed.

The congresswoman likewise presented a proposed legislative measure that would formulate a viable way to operate and maintain the hydropower complexes without sacrificing the interest of the people in Mindanao. — Marvin Segura