Press Release
August 10, 2022

Hontiveros wants power suppliers, gov't agencies summoned over Mindoro power woes

Senator Risa Hontiveros on Wednesday said that aside from distressed Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative (Ormeco), she also wants the involved independent power producers (IPPs) as well as concerned government agencies, summoned for the upcoming inquiry to pinpoint the main reason behind the worsening power crisis in the province of Oriental Mindoro.

"Aside from Ormeco, I recommend to the committee that all IPP's with contractual obligations with it should be made to participate in the upcoming inquiry. Pakinggan natin ang panig ng bawat isa," she said.

Ormeco is the electric cooperative servicing the franchise area of the province and has been in a hot spot due to repeated complaints of power outages and brownouts experienced by the consumers.

Hontiveros said that based on initial information reaching her office, one of the factors behind this crippling power crisis in Oriental Mindoro is the reported inability of Power One Corporation to perform its legal obligation to deliver 9MW 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. Accordingly, 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. We should get to the bottom of this issue and find immediate solutions" Hontiveros said.

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, Department of Energy and National Electrification Administration should also be present to answer questions regarding the steps being made by regulatory agencies.

"Sa halip na magturuan, ang prinsipyong dapat pairalin sa pagresolba ng problemang ito ay katapatan at pagtutulungan. Hindi lang dapat mabaling ang sisi sa electric cooperatives," Hontiveros said

"May mga regulatory agencies tulad ng ERC na may obligasyon din at pananagutan sa operasyon ng mga kooperatiba at IPPs para matiyak na naggagampanan ng mga ito ang mandato na maghatid ng de-kalidad at abot-kayang presyo ng kuryente. Humarap at magtapatan para makita ang mga dahilan at mapanagot kung sino man ang may malinaw na kapabayaan," she concluded.

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