Focus on Mindanao power shortage, not impeachment, Magsaysay tells PNoy

Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay called on President Aquino to focus his attention on the  current state of power shortage in Mindanao after businesses and electric cooperatives from the South aired their concerns about the issue instead of devoting his precious time hitting Chief Justice Renato Corona who is already facing impeachment trial in the Senate.

“The matter is already with the impeachment court, let the senator judges do their job. This (power shortage) is a very real problem that needs an immediate solution because it may have long term impacts on businesses in Mindanao, which may also affect businesses in other parts of the country,” she said.

The shortage is reportedly due to the fact that the two main sources of power in the region – the Agus and Pulangi hydroelectric plants are currently not operating at full capacity while electric cooperatives who are members of the Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives (AMRECO) are constrained from sourcing power from barges, which offer higher rates for their energy, due to an agreement they entered into with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to control the price of power in Mindanao.

“If they cannot get their energy needs from alternatives such as barges, what solutions are the government looking into? This is not the time for talk or platitudes, or statements that they are working on it. Solutions need to be laid out now because everyday that there is a power shortage translates to losses to many industries in the south,” she said.

Magsaysay said that if the situation continues unchecked, there will be an additional burden to consumers and industry partners in other parts of the country as well because excess power cost will yet again be passed on to them.

“Mindanaoans are still reeling from the disaster brought on by Sendong and are only now trying to rebuild their lives. Government must make this issue a priority because they will be the ones who shoulder the impact of increase in electric and utility cost. Have a bit of compassion,” she added.#