By Jerry Alcayde
CALAPAN CITY, Oriental Mindoro – Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi has called on all stakeholders in the local power sector in Mindoro to support and coordinate with each other to ensure sufficient, reliable, and affordable electricity for consumers.
“It is our primary duty to faithfully serve the Filipino people at all times. And while we have laid the groundwork in transforming the state of power in our province, we should continue to double our collective efforts as much work still lies ahead,” Cusi said at the first Power Summit for Mindoro Islands held recently at Filipiniana Hotel in Calapan.
The summit was aimed at improving the power situation in Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, and Lubang Island which have been plagued with power problems such as outdated power plants and lines, delays in proposed energy projects, heavily subsidized generation rates due to strong dependence on diesel and bunker fuel, and soaring electrification rates.
Cusi told summit attendees that his department and allied agencies have already undertaken several remedial measures to assist local electric cooperatives.
These measures include a performance assessment of the cooperative in 2017, administrative interventions that paved the way for managerial reforms in Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative (ORMECO), studies on power system protection coordination, support for the development of new mini-hydroelectric projects in the province, continued funding for electrification projects, and the DOE’s proposed major strategic planning study, the Integrated Power Development Master Plan for the entire island.
DOE Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella and DOE-Electric Power Industry Management Bureau Director Mario C. Marasigan shared their expertise on how to strengthen Mindoro’s power systems as they discussed their relevance to the over-all power program of the government.
Meanwhile, Oriental Mindoro Governor Humerlito A. Dolor has appealed to ORMECO to be more transparent in all its transactions particularly in the selection of power providers to ensure a more reliable and sustainable power supply for the province.
Dolor urged ORMECO’s board of directors and its new management headed by lawyer Bert Mendoza to work together to fully maximize their mandate to efficiently serve member-consumers.
Dolor said the National Power Corporation has assured him that by the end of this year, all NAPOCOR-owned transmission lines will become operational to fully serve all towns including Bulalacao, the southernmost town of Oriental Mindoro.
The governor commended the NAPOCOR when the latter completed last September the rehabilitation of the 69 kilovolts transmission line from the tourist town of Puerto Galera to Bansud which energized the said areas with fewer brownouts.
“There are less brownouts now compared to a few years back when the NAPOCOR power grid was brought down by successive strong typhoons such as Nona in 2015 and Nina in 2016,” Dolor said.