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Senate inquiry sought to end power crisis in Occidental Mindoro

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian is seeking a Senate inquiry into the government’s short, medium, and long-term solutions to end the power supply crisis in Occidental Mindoro.

The lawmaker filed proposed Senate Resolution 576 as he stressed that “despite all the announced efforts of various government agencies, the power crisis in Occidental Mindoro has been ongoing for years with no end in sight.”

In an interview with reporters, Gatchalian, former Senate energy committee chairman, said this crisis is a “management issue” in the Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative Inc. (Omeco) as they have shortcomings in submitting power supply agreements with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

“Sa akin, management issue ‘yan e hindi dapat umabot sa ganito. So [‘yung] management, dapat managot sila. ’Yung management, responsibility mo patakbuhin ang kooperatiba. So pag ‘di mo napatakbo nang maayos ‘yan, kasalanan mo ‘yan,” he said.

Gatchalian said it is about time for the National Electrification Administration and National power Corporation to meddle with this problem, saying it has “step-in rights” under the law to fix the supposed management issues within the electric cooperative. This authority, however, is for a short period of time only.

“Dapat na [pumasok ang gobyerno] kasi nakita ko state of calamity on power which is very rare. Actually, ngayon lang ako nakarinig ng ganoon. So ganun na kalala. Government can step in already. Government, meaning NEA and NAPOCOR,” he said.

“Titingnan (ng gobyerno) kung ano ang mga pagkukulang. Pwedeng issue ng negligence, pwedeng maging issue ng mismanagement. So government can come in and analyze the situation,” he said.

Since it will take a long period of time to investigate the power crisis, Gatchalian said NAPOCOR should provide generators to the island as an immediate solution and OMECO should already submit a power supply agreement under emergency purchases to the ERC so they can secure a contract with a new power supplier.—AOL, GMA Integrated News