Press Release
April 23, 2013

Cayetano shocked at gravity of power crisis

Senator Alan Cayetano could not hide his shock at the state of the power crisis in Mindanao as he met with members of the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco) in his Listening Tour visit to Zamboanga City last Saturday.

"We read about the Mindanao power crisis in the news in Manila but until you set foot in Mindanao and walk among the locals, you don't really grasp the gravity of the situation," Cayetano admitted.

Cayetano said that the Department of Energy (DOE) needs to explore other alternatives to its current proposal that cooperatives acquire their own diesel-fired generators as a means to address the power crisis temporarily. The proposal could increase electric charges by P1.80 resulting in charge of P4 per kilowatt-hour.

"When the National Electric Authority (NEA) loans P4 billion that it will later pass on to cooperatives, why do we have to limit the amortization to 5 years? Why can't Landbank and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) step in to make it 15-20 years to bring down the cost?" he said. Cayetano warned against the negative effect of increased power rates on the livelihood of Filipino families living in the region. "Consumers shouldn't be made to carry this burden. Higher electric prices would mean higher prices of all basic services and commodities. The bottom line is this means less income for the families in the area. Their ability to support themselves will be reduced even further," he said.

Senate Intervention

Cayetano said that the Senate could intervene on this issue once session resumes. "The Senate can intervene on the issue. A senator's primary task is to represent the people and Mindanao's biggest issue is the power crisis," he said as he recalled how in the past he has proposed that the government step in to remedy the situation and make the burden of electric costs easier on Filipino consumers.

News Latest News Feed