Gov't urged to resolve Visayas power woes

Posted at 07/23/14 4:20 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Government is being urged to immediately intervene and resolve the power situation in Visayas.

Consumer group National Coalition of Filipino Consumers (NCFC) said there is insufficient power supply in the area because the operations of the Naga power plant facility in Cebu were halted.

The 153.1 megawatt complex houses three thermal power plants that use a combination of diesel, bunker oil and coal as fuel.
NCFC said that operations at the plant stopped in December 2012 when the rehabilitate-operate-maintain-and-manage (ROMM) agreement between state-run National Power Corporation and a private firm, SPC, expired.

A local firm has won the bidding, but awarding of the contract was stalled after SPC raised an objection, claiming that it has the right to top the “winning bid”.
NCFC expressed support for Senator Serge Osmena’s petition before the Supreme Court asking to declare as void SPC’s right to top and issue a permanent injunction to enjoin PSALM from committing any act that will exercise SPC’s right to top.
“We support Senator Osmena’s stand against this act of the SPC. If a spurned firm will always claim that it has the right to top a winning bid, it will surely discourage participation of bidders and submission of bids. When will this end then? Because of this, thousands of consumers in the Visayas are being denied proper supply of electricity,” NCFC said.

NCFC alleged that SPC’s actions prevented government from getting the right price and from discouraging competition and restricting production of energy.
“SPC should do the right thing and desists from what PSALM did. For one, SPC power should realize that, more than anything, its primary service is providing energy to communities and peoples of Cebu. Residents of Cebu are suffering due to lack of electricity,” the group said.