THE Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) on Thursday said that President Benigno Aquino, III has taken decisive action on the Mindanao power problem.
The first step, according to MinDA chair Luwalhati Antonino, is President Aquino’s scheduled meeting with power industry stakeholders in Mindanao, including key local leaders in the island, to firm up parallel tracks of immediate and medium to long term solutions to the Mindanao power problem.
In a statement, Antonino said the President wants to personally convey specific measures taken by the government and the proposed steps needed to secure a reliable and sustainable Mindanao power generation.
Antonino said the MinDA, in collaboration with the Department of Energy (DOE), is making the necessary preparations for the conduct of a dialogue with Mindanao power stakeholders slated in Davao City after the Holy Week.
“The President understands the full account of the Mindanao power situation and has taken quick steps to address the power shortage problem with great resolve,” she said.
Antonino also said “the President wants that solutions be discussed as shared consensus of the Mindanao stakeholders.”
She said the MinDA had been doing initial rounds of consultations with Mindanao power stakeholders, industry players, local chief executives, and lawmakers to generate common understanding of the power issue and draw out collective recommended measures.
“The President’s objective is for everyone to be part of the effort to stabilize power supply situation in the short term with lesser impact possible on power rates, and ensure sustainable long term energy security in Mindanao,” she said.
Without giving further details as these would form part of the discussion during the scheduled Mindanao dialogue, Antonino said the identified immediate measures so far are projected to generate an indicative aggregate capacity of 219 megawatts (MW), which is enough to address the current 150-170-MW power deficit.
Meanwhile, the Association Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives (AMRECO) noted that electric cooperatives and distribution utilities have responded positively to the recent circular of the DOE which ordered compliance to certain directives aimed at addressing the power situation in Mindanao.
Clint Pacana, AMRECO executive director, said the DOE circular restored confidence and trust in the power system and that voluntary adherence and compliance by those concerned could be very well expected. (EDWIN O. FERNANDEZ)