Occidental Mindoro placed under state of calamity due to worsening power crisis

Occidental Mindoro has been declared under a state of calamity due to the worsening power crisis in the province.

Vice Governor Diana Apigo Tayag said in an interview with TeleRadyo that the rotational blackout in the province has been causing severe impact on the health, education and livelihoods of the people.

For over a month now, there has only been a four-hour supply of electricity per day, leaving residents with no power for 20 hours, he said, adding that the crisis comes at a time when the weather is unbearably hot, and many residents are falling ill due to the heat.

“Sobra-sobra na ho. Sa tingin ko, naghihingalo na ang ekonomiya namin. Talagang bagsak na bagsak na, lugmok na lugmok na. Wala nang negosyong nabubuhay halos dito sa amin,” said Tayag.

READ: Omeco announces rotational power supply on Saturday

He said one of the uses of the calamity fund is the purchase of fuel for hospitals to have access to electricity.

Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative (Omeco) General Manager Celso Garcia explained that their lone power supplier, Occidental Mindoro Consolidated Power Corporation (OMCPC), can only provide 12 megawatts of power, while the province requires 30 megawatts.

The root of the problem, according to Garcia, is the almost P1 billion subsidy that OMCPC is charged by the National Power Corporation (Napocor) for the purchase of diesel to run the power plant.

The Department of Energy (DOE) has exempted Omeco from the competitive selection process to quickly enter into contracts with power suppliers for an additional 17 megawatts of electricity supply in Occidental Mindoro. Omeco has also entered into a contract with the Oriental Mindoro Elecric Cooperative for emergency power supply, which is only available during off-peak hours.

MORE: Marcos promise on renewable energy to solve Mindoro power crisis met with skepticism

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