The Misamis Oriental provincial government is opposing plans that would allow a private company to operate and manage the Agus Pulangi hydro power plants in Mindanao.
In a recent resolution authored by Misamis Oriental Governor Jose Mari Pelaez, provincial board members calling the Agus Pulangi Hydroelectric Power (APHP) complex as “the crown jewel of Mindanao’s power assets” strongly resisted the privatization plans and instead backed the creation of the Mindanao Power Corporation or Minpocor.
“The continued ownership of the government of the APHP [plants]is in the best interest of Mindanao because it will ensure affordable electricity rates, prevent monopoly of the electricity market in Mindanao and earn from the windfall profits of the hydroelectric power plants,” the officials said in the resolution.
“The non-privatization of the APHP [complex]will serve to protect the interest of the already burdened poor and the less privileged [who deserve to enjoy]what modern day dictates as a necessity, affordable electricity,” they added.
According to the provincial board members, the continued involvement of the government in the operation and management of the Agus Pulangi power plants is consistent with Epira, which seeks to “create a free and fair competition in the supply of electricity.”
Epira is the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001.
The provincial board noted that the Power Sector Asset and Liabilities Management, or Psalm, in a resolution, had set 2017 as the earliest date to proceed with the sale of the power plant complex.
There have been several proposals submitted in Congress aimed at the creation of Minpocor.
One of them is the bill “An Act Creating the Mindanao Power Corporation” that was approved by the joint House committees on energy, government enterprises and privatization and on Mindanao affairs last month.
The provincial board members said they will furnish provincial governments in Mindanao with their resolution as they sought their support in pushing for the creation of Minpocor.
Recently, the 1Mindanao Energy Cooperative Federation met to discuss a strategy that will land them the Operations and Management Agreement on the hydro-electric generation facility.
The move was an attempt to privatize the power complex with funds raised by cooperatives all over the country.
The cooperative federation assured that they would “put consumers’ interest above the interest of the private and public corporations.”