MANILA — As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy, Senator Idol Raffy Tulfo confirmed that he already talked with National Electrification Administrator (NEA) Antonio Almeda today to discuss the current energy crisis in Occidental Mindoro, which has been placed under a state of calamity due to 20-hour daily power outages for more than a month now.
It can be recalled that as early as April 5, in the middle of Holy Week, Tulfo’s Senate Committee on Energy conducted an emergency consultative meeting involving various government agencies to discuss the widespread brownout in Occidental Mindoro.
It was discussed during the said meeting that the Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative, Inc (OMECO) will make a board resolution so that the NEA will loan them 50 million pesos to buy bunker fuel as a temporary immediate solution to the power outage.
In his discussion with Almeda, Tulfo shared that he particularly asked him about NEA’s current action to urgently address the power crisis.
“Sa ibinigay na briefing ni Admin Almeda sa akin, hiniling niya na bigyan siya ng hanggang tatlong linggo mula ngayon para makapagbigay sila ng konkretong solusyon sa problemang ito,” he said.
Tulfo said that according to Almeda, NEA has already requested a Certificate of Exemption (COE) from the Department of Energy (DOE) to allow OMECO to enter into the Emergency Power Supply Agreement (EPSA). When this happens, they will be able to secure modular gensets from Singapore that can generate up to 17 megawatts (MW).
Tulfo was told that NEA already asked for transfer of four modular gensets with 2MW each from Mindanao which can produce up to 8MW. These are the same modular gensets that were used in 2013-2014 when there was an emergency power crisis in Mindanao.
Likewise, Tulfo shared that NEA already asked DMCI Power Corporation to provide approximately 5MW of electricity from Oriental Mindoro to Occidental Mindoro. This 5MW will immediately provide an extra 4 hours of electricity per day in Occidental Mindoro.
Tulfo was also informed that NEA and DOE have requested the Department of Finance (DOF) to remove the restriction on the next loan secured by the National Power Corporation (NPC) so that it can be used in the entire missionary electrification areas.
Notably, in the current policy, the NPC cannot use the loan they get in areas already covered by private power providers that supply electricity, like with OMECO, which is no longer included in the Small Power Utility Group (SPUG) areas of the NPC. SPUG refers to areas where NPC remains the power provider.
Additionally, Tulfo shared that NEA has asked NPC to be the one to operate the old and unused NPC plant that they will renovate so that it becomes an operational plant that can generate up to 10MW.
The Senator from Isabela and Davao likewise said that he already called Malacañang today to ask for an appointment to personally talk to President Bongbong Marcos to discuss how the Senate can help with said issue.