November 6, 2012
Reference: Bayan Muna
Davao City – Party list representative and Makabayan senate bet Teddy Casiño has appealed to newly appointed Department of Energy (DOE) Sec. Jericho Petilla to prioritize the Mindanao power crisis and to act favourably on the recommendations adopted by the Mindanao Power Summit last April.
“DOE can now have a fresh start with Petilla as its new head. Hopefully, he will prove to be an innovative and progressive leader, especially since unlike his predescessor, he seemingly has no conflict of interest within the energy sector. He can start by focusing on the long-standing energy problem of Mindanao,” the progressive lawmaker said at the Kapihan sa Davao media forum yesterday.
Casiño said among the recommendations that should be looked into by Sec. Petilla are the permanent exemption from privatization of the Agus- Pulangui hydropower complex, the creation of the Mindanao Power Corp. to oversee the operations of the existing and future power plants in Mindanao, the deployment of Napocor power barges to Mindanao, the development of renewable energy sources and the amendment of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) especially provisions on privatization.
“Ang nangyayari kasi e nagpulong at nagrecommend pa ang Mindanao Power Summit tapos di naman yata sineryoso. Sayang lang ang oras at pera ng mamamayan kung ganun,” said the solon.
Casiño expressed alarm that the privatization of the energy sector continues in Mindanao, citing the sale of the Napocor power barges that is supposed to be deployed in Mindanao.
“Former DOE Sec. Jose Rene Almendras promised five (5) power barges that would be deployed to Mindanao but they are still nowhere to be seen because the DOE wants to sell them first. We should not wait for these barges to be privatized since NAPOCOR can operate them so that the cost would not be too high,” he added.
He also expressed apprehension on the proposed Interim Electricity Market in Mindanao (IMEM) which aims to bring into the grid some 360MW of embedded supply but which would require a 30 centavo hike in prices just to set up.
The IMEM is similar to the existing wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) in Luzon and is said to be also very dangerous because it may easily be manipulated by power players. (Bayan Muna)