Even if Occidental Mindoro’s power supply has been restored after it was hit by a three-day blackout that started last June 25, Senator Win Gatchalian is seeking a Senate investigation to address the problem of power interruptions plaguing the province for several years now.
“Kung walang kuryente, walang negosyo, walang kita ang mga tao. At kung magpapatuloy pa ito sa mga susunod na buwan, maaaring maapektuhan pati ang pagpasok sa paaralan ng mga mag-aaral. Hahayaan na lang ba natin na ganito na lang palagi ang sitwasyon sa Occidental Mindoro?” Gatchalian asked.
“The locals are complaining to me. It’s time we get to the bottom of the recurring power problem in the province,” he said.
Gatchalian will file a resolution to have the Senate direct the appropriate committee to conduct an inquiry in aid of legislation on the matter, highlighting the need for a supply reliability and power quality and to protect consumers from losses attributed to power outages. The senator noted that he even had his personal experience of power interruption when he visited the province during the last campaign period.
Reports said that Occidental Mindoro Consolidated Power Corp. (OMCPC) stopped supplying electricity to Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative Inc. (OMECO) last June 25 because its power supply agreement to the electric cooperative has already expired.
Power supply resumed last Monday. The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has provisionally approved a power supply agreement (PSA) between OMECO and OMCPC to augment the power supply issue and end the lingering rotational outages.
OMECO is the electric cooperative servicing the franchise area of Occidental Mindoro with a total of 240,887 household connections.
“Kung hindi mabibigyan ng solusyon ang problemang ito, mapag-iiwanan ang probinsya ng Occidental Mindoro. Malaking bagay ang pagkakaroon ng tuloy-tuloy na suplay ng kuryente, may pandemya man o wala. Isa itong dahilan sa mabilis na pag-unlad ng isang lugar o ng buong bansa. Kung hindi sapat ang mga umiiral na batas para tugunan ang problema sa suplay at kalidad ng kuryente sa Occidental Mindoro o kahit saan pa mang lugar o probinsiya, maaari tayong magbalangkas ng mga bagong batas o reporma sa mga kasalukuyang batas,” Gatchalian said in justifying his call for an inquiry in aid of legislation.