SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go said he will personally raise the issue of the power situation in Occidental Mindoro with Secretary of Energy Alfonso Cusi after the province was hit by a series of rotational power outages this dry season as the local electricity grid struggles to accommodate a high level of energy demand.
“Kakausapin ko agad si Secretary Cusi para alamin kung ano ang pwedeng gawin para malunasan ang problema. Nakakalungkot na nasa gitna tayo ng pandemya tapos nagkakaproblema pa tayo sa kuryente. Nung nalaman ko na nag-brownout sa inyo, tinawagan po namin agad ang Department of Energy,” Go said a radio interview on Friday, May 14.
The energy department, he continued, has already reached out to the National Electrification Administration to verify information on the ground, and directed the agency, along with the Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative (OMECO), Inc., to submit an initial report.
The DOE is currently reviewing the actual power demand and supply situation in the province, taking into account the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic versus the increase in demand during the dry season
Occidental Mindoro currently sources its power supply from the National Power Corporation – Small Power Utilities Group and the Occidental Mindoro Consolidated Power Corp. (OMCPC) which have a combined installed capacity of 24 megawatts (MW).
To ensure an adequate power supply, the DOE has provided OMECO guidance for its procurement of an additional 39 MW of power. It is also evaluating the electric cooperative’s request for a Certificate of Exemption for its emergency power supply agreement with OMCPC which is set to expire this June.
Go added that he had issued an appeal to power generation companies to work with the affected local government units and electric cooperatives to address the shortages.
“Hindi lang report ang kailangan natin. Kailangan i-address natin ang problema. Kaya naman nakiusap din kami sa power providers na magtulungan kasama ang LGUs at concerned cooperatives kasi ‘pag may power interruption, kawawa ang taumbayan,” he said.
Go urged concerned authorities to resolve whatever issues they have and to take immediate remedial measures to avoid any negative impact on the economy and health system. He warned that prolonged and widespread power outages are not only an inconvenience, but they can also seriously threaten businesses and even public health and safety.
“Napakahirap na nilalagay natin sa peligro ang mga kababayan natin, mahalaga ang stable electricity supply, lalo na ngayon dahan-dahan tayong nagbubukas ng ating ekonomiya at kailangan ng maayos na healthcare facilities, knowing na maraming hospital equipment ay tumatakbo gamit ang kuryente,” explained Go.
Go vowed that he will continue to listen to the concerns of ordinary Filipinos, find ways to solve their issues, and act as a bridge for them to reach President Rodrigo Duterte and this government.
“Hirap na nga ang lahat dahil sa pandemya. Trabaho nating pagaangin ang hirap na dinadala ng mga kababayan natin diyan sa Occidental Mindoro. Patuloy akong magiging tulay ninyo kay Pangulong Duterte,” he said.