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President Aquino gives DOE marching order for speedy solution of Mindanao power problem

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DAVAO CITY - President Benigno Aquino III has given the Department of Energy (DOE) the marching order to speedily solve the power problem in Mindanao but without jeopardizing the industry, Energy Secretary Jose Almendras said Thursday.

Speaking at a press conference here, Almendras however clarified that solving the power problem in Mindanao will not be a walk in the park.
He said certainly, there are solutions to the problem but these can’t be done overnight as there are several legal, technical, social, and economic issues that should be considered in implementing them.

“The instruction of the President is to solve the power problem as fast as we can and the best way that we can but to make sure the solutions will not jeopardize the power industry,” Almendras said.

He said the power industry stakeholders will present to President Aquino a consolidated recommendation on solving the power problem at the end of the Mindanao Power Summit on Friday at the Davao Waterfront Insular Hotel here.

It is also expected that Aquino will announce something very important in relation to solving the power problem in Mindanao, Almendras said.
Almendras said the energy sector will also present the technical dimension of the industry for the people to understand why there is power shortage, “because there are some people who are showing that there is no power shortage.” Earlier, the Energy department said there was a 200-megawatt (MW) power shortage in Mindanao.

“We want to set the tone so we will be going in the right direction in solving the problem,” Almendras said.
Based on the information revealed by National Power Corporation (NPC) president Froilan Tampinco at the press conference, the power problem is expected to end only in the month of December this year in which there will no power supply deficit at +24 megawatts.

In January this year, there was a deficit of 19MW. This grew to a 62-MW deficit in February; and March, 47-MW deficit.
This April, projected was a 77-MW deficit; for May, 88-MW deficit; June, 47-MW deficit; July, 59-MW deficit; August, 59-MW deficit; September, 55-MW deficit; October, 77 MW deficit; November 33MW deficit; and December, +24 or no deficit.

Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) head Secretary Luwalhati Antonino said President Aquino had long wanted to hold the summit even before she suggested it to him, adding that he wanted to go to Mindanao prior to his travel to Cambodia.
“The President wants to listen to the people’s suggestions and recommendations. He wants to come and talk to the people of Mindanao with regards to the power problem,” Antonino said.

She clarified that the sole agenda in Friday’s power summit is to solve the power problem.
“We have so many problems in Mindanao but now even yesterday, the most serious is the energy problem,” she said.
About 300 delegates are expected to attend the summit including the consumers, legislators, local government officials, and power industry players.

by: PNA




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