Occidental Mindoro Rep. Josephine “Nene” Ramirez-Sato on Wednesday, Sept. 1 assured the province of improved energy outlook as power sources go on board to provide at least 29 megawatts of electricity.
Sato, a senior member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, revealed that the national government has committed to help the province address its energy stability issues.
“Magandang balita po ang ating dala para sa ating mga kababayang naninirahan sa Occidental Mindoro: Sa mga susunod na buwan po ay magkakaroon na ang ating probinsiya ng mas reliable na supply ng kuryente. (Good news to residents of Occidental Mindoro. The province will be assured of more reliable electricity supply in the coming months),” Sato said.
She disclosed that no less than Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi has pledged to ensure stable power supply for the province, adding that President Duterte is strongly behind the stable power supply program for the province.
Sato has been bridging coordination gaps among energy national regulatory agencies such as the Department of Energy, Energy Regulatory Commission, National Power Commission, and National Electrification Administration, and the province’s sole power distributor Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative Inc. (OMECO) and supplier, the Occidental Mindoro Consolidated Power Corp. (OMCPC).
From1993 to 2018, the Island Power Corporation (IPC) had the exclusive right to provide power to the province. During the period, or for 25 years, the province suffered from rotational brownouts of eight to 12 hours a day. IPC is a company affiliated with the family of a prominent former public official from the province.
A reliable troubleshooter in providing a solution to the energy supply and stability probem in Occidental Mindoro, Sato has championed the rights of electric consumers and energy stakeholders in and out of the province.
Sato said engine maintenance work on OMCPC’s 20-MW diesel power plant is expected to be completed within the next two months, or by October, and could thus already fully operate and provide 20 megawatts of power to the mainland. The operation of the OMCPC plant was given the go-signal by the ERC in 2017.
Likewise, Sato has received communication from OMECO that the commissioning and synchronization of the new 5MW genset of the OMCPC and the existing 4 MW gensets of the NPC, all located in Tayamaan, Mamburao, has been successful, and that the plants are “now ready for commercial operation.” Current power demand in the province is placed at 27 MW during the summer months, and at a lower 19MW during the rainy season. The 29MW power supply from the OMCPC’s power plant and genset, and the NPC’s gensets is enough to meet the demand and stop the rotational brownouts that have affected households since April.