Casiño calls gov’t to end power crisis through renewable energy plants

Mar. 31, 2013

Press Release
31 March 2013

TAGUM CITY — “It will never be fun in Mindanao with the Aquino government’s introduction of a high-cost power rates solution to the island’s power crisis.”

Thus declared Makabayan Coalition Senate bet Teddy Casiño in a speech during the general assembly of the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Daneco) where he criticized the government proposal to build bunker and diesel-fed power plants as “a classic solution that punishes the people for mistakes committed by the government.”

“It is wrong for government to make the people of Mindanao accept expensive electricity as sole solution to the power crisis.  The Department of Energy (DOE) has proposed to raise electricity rates to P18 per kilowatt hour (kWh) due to the construction of bunker or diesel-fired plants.  This proposal is anti-consumer, anti-environment and anti-Mindanao,” Casiño said.

“We should now look into renewable energy options that are cleaner, more sustainable and cheaper in the long term.  The Energy Regulatory Commission -approved feed in tariff rates of P9.68 per kWh for solar, P8.53 per kWh for wind, P6.63 per kWh for biomass, and P5.90 per kWh for hydropower projects are all way below the P18 per kWh government proposal.  It is imperative that government builds renewable energy power plants now in Mindanao to address the supply problem at lesser cost to the public,” Casiño said.

He stressed that the option to go renewable was part of the Mindanao Power Summit proposals in April of last year, many of which remain unacted upon by the DOE.

The progressive senatorial candidate furthered that the government solution to the Mindanao power crisis is “very short-term and profit-centered for a few energy corporations.”

“Aside from ignoring the 2012 Mindanao power summit’s recommendations, government busied itself in pushing the passage of House Bill 6214 and Senate Bill 3389 or An Act Strengthening the National Electrification Administration (NEA) Further Amending for the Purpose Presidential Decree No. 269, As Amended, or the NEA Reform Act of 2012.  This proposed law will grant the NEA the fullest powers to streamline all electric coops to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 that raised electricity rates in the country.  This includes take-overs via its step-in power; supervision of the management and operations of all electric coops to make these into a mega-profit oriented entities with labels as ‘economically viable’ and ‘prepared for the implementation of retail competition and open access.’  It does not in any way resolve the power crisis in Mindanao or future problems in the electric power industry of the country,” Casiño said.

Instead of foisting high electricity rates and conversion of service-oriented electric cooperatives into profit-seeking corporations, the legislator pushed for consumer- and Mindanao-friendly solution to the island’s power woes.

Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño, 0920-9035683

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