By Norman A. Novio
The Mindoro Post
SAN JOSE—Occidental Mindoro is currently beset by power supply shortage. Frequent load shedding by the National Power Corporation-Small Power Utilities Group or NPC-SPUG to equitably distribute its limited supply to Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative (OMECO) is a normal occurrence that affects all sectors of the community, particularly the commercial and industrial establishments.
It’s nearly a year since the new OMECO administration took over but the problem remains. The cooperative takes steps to address the problem just as consumers face recurring brown-outs due to various technical reasons. The present OMECO’s Board of Director has approved a resolution giving a go-signal to this endeavor. The Board is chaired by Mr. Samuel Villar.
The power situation is further aggravated by the impending pull-out of the NPC-SPUG generation facilities to give way for a new Independent Power Producer (IPP) to generate power for the province in line with government’s policy to encourage private sector to invest in the power industry.
But the question is, how could we invite prospective private power providers if the status of the Energy Conversion Agreement (ECA) between OMECO and Island Power Corporation (IPC) remains in effect? The IPC had stopped generating power for more than five years now but the agreement remains in effect.
To have at least an initial but concrete action on the matter, OMECO together with the Electric Consumers Advocacy of the Philippines or CEAP will hold a Mainland Occidental Mindoro Power Summit on January 16 at the Occidental Mindoro State College (OMSC) Main Campus Gymnasium here in San Jose. The summit aims to discuss the energy crisis, involve the stakeholders in resolving it, and come up with doable solutions.
A letter jointly signed by Engr. Alfred A. Dantis, OMECO OIC General Manager, and His Excellency Antonio P. Palang, SVD,DD, Bishop of Occidental Mindoro and at the same time national chairman of ECAP, states that : “…the dream of liberating the people of Occidental Mindoro from the mire of poverty will not materialize if and when the situation remain unsolved.”
ECAP, also headed by Mr. Edicio Dela Torre as its national president, aims to pursue three advocacies: protect and promote the rights and interests of EC member-consumers as owners, support the ECs in the corporate efforts, comply with the mandate to providing excellent power service at justified electric rates, and serve as a vigilant watchdog against abuses, corruption and incompetence.
Among the list of target members of the Panel of Reactors from Manila are Hon. Zenaida G. Cruz-Ducut, chairperson of the Energy Regulatory Commission, including representatives from the Department of Energy (DOE), NPC-SPUG, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) and the Power Sector Asset and Liabilities Management or PSALM. Also expected to attend are representatives from the local government units of Occidental Mindoro, the religious sector and other civic organizations. Likewise, Governor Josephine Ramirez-Sato and Deputy Speaker Ma. Amelita C. Villarosa of the province’s lone Congressional District are also invented.
The following issues and concerns are expected to be discussed, and consequently find alternative solutions to the impeding “dark age” scenario in Occidental Mindoro: a clear cut legal action on the said ECA, the Competitive Selection Process for the New Power Providers to be tackled by the ERC and other related matters including plans how to best serve OMECO co-owners or consumers .