President Aquino is washing his hands of the Mindanao power crisis. Since 2010, this problem has been squarely, pointedly and repeatedly brought by the people of Mindanao to his attention. Now, the President apes Pilate, telling the people of
Mindanao that they have to bite the bullet.
By Amando Doronila
The current Mindanao power shortage is relatively the most underreported main event in the mainstream news media in the run-up to the May elections. It is bad news to the Aquino administration. It is bad news to the people of Mindanao, bad news to the economy and to all the people in the country.
Who’s going to pay Olongapo’s ‘electrifying’ P4-billion debt?
No chief executive has been more frank and honest in addressing the perennial problem of power shortages in Mindanao than President Aquino is now. Just before the Holy Week break, the President told it as it is. The people and industries in Mindanao have very limited choices: Higher power rates or no electricity at all.
The power crisis is back in Mindanao, with the specter of higher power rates haunting its people. This is happening because of the glaring failure of the electric cooperatives (ECs) to comply with DOE Circular No. 2003-12-011, titled “Enjoining All Distribution Utilities To Supply Adequate, Affordable, Quality and Reliable Electricity” which was issued pursuant to Section 2 of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira). Their failure is made worse in light of the number of years given them from the time the circular was issued in December 2003.
By Walden Bello
Power rates in the Philippines are the highest in Asia and rank fifth in the world. Brownouts lasting several hours a day have plagued Mindanao during the last few months and the Department of Energy (DOE) warns of disruptions and shortages in the near future in Luzon. Thus, it was not surprising that at the hearings on the 2013 budget at the House of Representatives, DOE received the most intensive interpellation of all the executive agencies–far more intensive, in fact, than the Department of Social Welfare and Development, which had been expected to draw most of the legislators’ attention owing to the P44 billion allocation for its Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program.
By Jose Rene D. Almendras
The situation in Mindanao is a balancing act that must be managed to address the mandate of the law that created the industry we are in now and the strong sentiments of Mindanaoans not to pursue the privatization of the remaining assets on the island.
The government and a big player in the power industry attempted to replay an old script. Fortunately, the people of Mindanao didn’t buy it.
By Neal H. Cruz
The party’s over. Cheap electricity is over for Mindanaoans. They have to pay more for electricity or put up with rotating power outages.
By Amando Doronila
President Aquino came to the Mindanao Power Summit here last Friday with a mindset that the days of cheap electricity in this “land of promise” were over. In his speech to the summit participants, the President told the shell-shocked people of Mindanao, who are suffering from rotating power outages, that they must now pay a little more for electricity to enable the island to have “a stable supply of power for the future of the region.” He said only private-sector investment and participation could guarantee a steady and sustainable power supply for the region.
This is in reply to the article written by Gil Cabacungan titled “Only winners in Mindanao crisis are power firms—solon” (Inquirer, 3/5/12).
By Cielito F. Habito
If I am writing a lot about Mindanao these days, it’s because I’m thoroughly convinced of its vital importance to the nation.