DOE has a comprehensive energy plan for Mindanao
This is in reply to the March 30 editorial titled “Power struggle.”
The Department of Energy under my watch has been working on the solutions and setting the policies to address the Mindanao power situation. As early as July 2010, we conducted a series of dialogues among power stakeholders and local government units. We also made representations to both chambers of Congress, including the Joint Congressional Power Commission, on the Mindanao situation. All these are aimed to come up with the needed solutions.
We clarify the following points:
1. Dialogue with legislators. It was through that initiative of the DOE, with the assistance of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Energy that a dialogue with legislators was held Feb. 22, 2012, on the present problem and our contingency plan.
2. Dredging of Pulangui River. It is impractical for the government to do an overall dredging and it is best that a selective dredging and flushing be implemented. The government has already released P3 billion for the reforestation of the surrounding areas. Considering that Pulangui is run-of-river plant, it remains dependent on the amount of rainfall and flow of water.
3. Operation of the Iligan Diesel Power Plant (IDPP). The DOE has not been remiss in monitoring the sale of IDPP to Conal Holdings without infringing on the review of the sale audit of the Commission on Audit. As the audit remains pending, we recognize the COA’s independence as a constitutional body with its own regulatory requirements.
4. Emergency powers not sought. The talk of emergency powers came from media and not from the DOE. We will provide our inputs on the matter upon receipt of the proposed bills.
5. Mindanao Energy Plan. For 2012, we issued a circular aimed at rationalizing the Mindanao Grid power supply system and provide relief to the people in the region. With the circular, the DOE is closely monitoring the grid and the degree of compliance among the stakeholders. We will ensure the running of the existing diesel power barges to support peak demand and expedite the repair of Pulangui Hydropower Plant.
Since 2010, we have attracted 273 MW of non-hydro base load generation coming online through 2014. We also have 790 MW of proposed projects on the pipeline in the process of securing the necessary local government permits and support from the communities.
For 2013, we are encouraging the transfer of additional diesel power barges to Mindanao. This will bridge supply as new base load power plants will come online by 2014.
The DOE has a comprehensive energy plan for Mindanao and is committed to ensure the implementation of the best possible solution to the Mindanao power situation.
—JOSE RENE D. ALMENDRAS,
secretary, Department of Energy,
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