DAVAO CITY – A progressive group here called the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Energy Regulatory Commission “useless” amid the intent of a Davao del Sur electric cooperative to its electricity rate.
“The Department of Energy and the Energy Regulatory Commission are useless when it comes to defending the interests and welfare of the Filipino people. In fact, these government agencies are merely being used by power companies to defend their rate hikes,” the militant group, Bayan, said in a statement emailed to news organizations.
The group reacted to a television report that the Davao del Sur Electric Cooperative (Dasurceo) would increase its rate by P1.57 to buy power from an independent producer to supply its energy requirements.
An earlier news report said that Dasureco signed a supply contract worth P62.91 million with Alsons Energy Development Corp (AEDC) late last month. AEDC would supply 15 megawatts (mw) to Dasureco for three years from its diesel plants in Digos City.
The report said that Dasureco has a supply requirement of 42 mw but the supply is currently at 28 mw only. With the new deal, Dasureco would add another P1.57 per Kilowatt hour to its current rate.
In a Thursday interview over ABS-CBN, Dasurceo General Manager Godofredo Guya said that the deficiency in supply “is not only in our province (Davao del Sur) but this is the entire Mindanao because of the non-operation of Steag power plant, this is coal-fired powerplant, and Agus 1.”
“We are thinking of extending the number of hours of curtailment from 4-6 hours,” he said.
He said that the measure is “short term becaue the coal-fired power plant of AboitizPower in Davao City will be operational in late 2015 and another coal-fired power plant of the San Miguel Corporation in Malita, Davao Occidental will also be operational in 2016″.
“We do not want to establish a contract with a very expensive generator because the customers will suffer,” said Guya.
Bayan, who is set to stage a protest in front of the DOE office today, also called on junking the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira.)
“Ever since EPIRA was implemented, power rates have risen without letup. Under Epira] the government is prohibited from investing in power generation. The price of electricity is completely in the hands of the big companies that lord it over the market,” said Bayan. (davaotoday.com)