Risa wants energy industry stakeholders to shed light on Oriental Mindoro power woes

Published August 10, 2022, 8:48 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

Senator Risa Hontiveros said Wednesday, Aug. 10, that she wants power suppliers and government agencies summoned for the upcoming Senate hearing on the power crisis in Oriental Mindoro.

Aside from the Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative (Ormeco), Hontiveros also wants representatives from independent power producers (IPPs) and government agencies such as Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), Department of Energy (DOE), and National Electrification Administration (NEA) to be in the Senate hearing to discuss with the lawmakers the reason behind the worsening power woes in the province.

“Pakinggan natin ang panig ng bawat isa (Let’s hear each other’s side),” she said in a statement.

Ormeco, which services the franchise area of Oriental Mindoro, has been the subject of repeated complaints of power outages from its consumers.

Based on initial information reaching her office, Hontiveros said one of the factors behind the perennial crisis is the reported inability of Power One Corporation to perform its legal obligation to deliver 9 megawatts every hour to Ormeco.

However, there are claims of alleged delays by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) in the approval of rate application of IPPs operating in ORMECO, which in turn delayed commercial operations to provide power supply, Hontiveros said.

She added that delays in claiming the UCME subsidy impacted heavily on supplier’s operations which they use to buy expensive fuel for their generation power plants.

“Sino ba talaga ang dapat managot? Hindi dapat naiipit ang konsyumer sa nag-uumpugang mga bato (Who should be held liable? Consumers should get dragged by this) We should get to the bottom of this issue and find immediate solutions,” she added.

On the other hand, Hontiveros said that Ormeco’s explanation that the power outages were caused by the low production of renewable power sources is implausible as this challenge should have been anticipated.

“It is expected that additional power sources coming from renewable energy remain a challenge and have limits. Isn’t it a problem of correct and proper planning under the power development plan or the lack of it?” she asked.

Hontiveros also said that the representatives of concerned government agencies such as the ERC, DOE, and NEA should also be present to answer questions regarding the steps being made by regulatory agencies.

 
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