Senator Win Gatchalian proposed solutions to the daily intermittent power outage in Occidental Mindoro as the power crisis is affecting hospital operations considering a dengue outbreak and rising COVID-19 cases.
“Ngayon higit na kailangan ng ating mga kababayan ang sapat na kuryente sa lugar. Malaking dagok sa kalusugan ng mga residente ang palagiang walang kuryente dahil apektado pati ang operasyon ng mga ospital,” Gatchalian said in taking note of the declaration of State of Power Crisis in the entire province.
“Tumataas ang kaso ng COVID-19. Kapag hindi nailagay sa refrigerated storage ang mga bakuna, masisira lang at hindi matutugunan ang gamit nito,” he added in dismay.
The lawmaker put forward the idea for the Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative, Inc. (OMECO) to enter into an Emergency Power Supply Agreement (EPSA), which is exempt from a Competitive Selection Process (CSP).
The electric cooperative has long been implementing rotational power interruptions in the whole province or a maximum of 12 to 14 hours due to shortage of power supply.
Gatchalian also called on the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to immediately approve the remaining 20 megawatts (MW) power supply between OMCPC and OMECO. The application for the approval of the said power supply with the ERC is still in process.
Another solution, Gatchalian said, is for the National Power Corporation (NPC) to temporarily dispatch generator sets to provide additional power supply in the area.
In the long term, the government should study the possible interconnection of Occidental Mindoro considering its growing energy demand, Gatchalian said.
Based on the actual supply-demand situation, there is a power shortage of 16.58 MW in Occidental Mindoro this year and is projected to increase to 21.35 MW by 2026.
The lawmaker has earlier called for a Senate inquiry into Occidental Mindoro’s power situation – a problem plaguing the province for several years now.