House bills for Mindanao Power Corporation approved

House Bill for Mindanao Power Corporation pushed

In order to spur economic development in the region, the House of Representatives has approved the measures needed to create the Mindanao Power Corporation.

The House Committees on Government Enterprises and Privatization, and on Energy have approved to consolidate House Bills 122 and 357 – both seeking to create the Mindanao Power Corporation.

HB 122 seeks the non-privatization of the Agus and Pulangui Hydropower Complexes that can bring lower power rates in Mindanao.

Rep. Celso Lobregat, the author of the bill, is also pushing for a feasible way for the government to maintain these cheap power sources.

“The most concrete effect of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001 on Mindanao is the treatment extended to Agus-Pulangui Hydropower Complexes — considered as crown jewels of the Mindanao power industry — which continue to bring low power rates in Mindanao,” Lobregat told BusinessWorld.

“Privatization will not happen because the people of Mindanao always oppose it. And even the President of the Republic has enunciated his favor to retain the Agus-Pulangui Complexes,” said Rep. Maximo Rodriguez Jr, Cagayan de Oro City Rep and author of HB 357.

Rodriguez said that the Mindanao Power Corporation will serve as the solution to the recurrent power crisis in Mindanao.

The National Power Corporation and the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) have expressed their support for the passage, as long as the proposal is consistent with the EPIRA Law.