DOE assures movement in addressing Occidental Mindoro Power Crisis

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The Department of Energy (DOE) has assured its support to the residents and local government of Occidental Mindoro in addressing the ongoing power crisis in the province. 

In a statement made by Energy Undersecretary Rowena Cristina L. Guevara, as reported by the Business World, the DOE, National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR), the National Electrification Administration (NEA), and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) are helping Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative, Inc. (OMECO) to make immediate changes to improve its electrical services. 

The fuel power plant in the province can only generate 7 MW, whereas the power demand in Occidental Mindoro is around 30 MW.

Occidental Mindoro has been placed under a state calamity as power interruptions worsened to 20-hour daily power outages for more than a month due to supply problems. 

This power crisis has resulted in difficulties for the people of Occidental Mindoro for decades, and Sablayan Mayor Walter B. Marquez stated that the competitive selection process (CSP), which was launched three years ago, ‘did not meet people’s expectations.’ 

Meanwhile, ERC Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer Monalisa C. Dimalanta confirmed that there is a plan in place, established last year, and is currently being adjusted to address recent developments.

Earlier, the NEA administrator Antonio Almeda and Sen. Raffy Tulfo, chair of the Senate Committee on Energy, conducted a meeting to discuss the energy crisis.

NEA asked for three weeks to produce a solid solution to answer the energy dilemma. Sen. Tulfo also called the Malacañang to set up an appointment with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to discuss how the Senate could be of help with the problem. 

Furthermore, NEA is seeking a certificate of exemption (COE) from the DOE which will allow OMECO to engage in emergency power supply agreements and secure modular generation sets from Singapore that can generate up to 17 megawatts 

NEA has also asked DMCI Power Corp. to provide around 5 MW of power from Oriental Mindoro to Occidental Mindoro – equivalent to four hours of electricity every day. 

Sen. Tulfo also cleared in a meeting last April 5 that OMECO will make a resolution that would authorize NEA to loan P50 million to buy bunker fuel as a temporary solution.