Friday, July 13, 2007

The Power Industry in Occidental Mindoro

Right from the website of the Provincial Government of Occ. Mindoro, one reads: "Electric power is supplied by the National Power Corporation and the Island Power Corporation (IPC) through the Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative (OMECO) while the island municipalities of Lubang and Looc are supplied by the Lubang Electric Cooperative (LUBELCO). The power plant is still inadequate. Plans are underway to increase supply through private capital intervention."

To me, the description of the true state of power supply in the province is not reflected in the above-cited statement. The following is Didaskalos' perception of the real state of power industry in the province:

  1. The supply of electricity in the province is not going to improve in the near future, unless the Villarosa's rescind the contract that they maintain with the OMECO. In 1990's, the IPC -- a power producing corporation that is owned by JTV and some other known and moneyed personalities -- came to terms with the Occ Mindoro Electric Cooperative -- the power distributor in the whole province -- for an exclusive contract of supply of power for 25 years! And this is renewable for another 25 years. Now, the problem is not because there is a contract of exclusive supply, and that the party with which OMECO got into a contract is the family of Villarosa and their business partners. The problem is IPC IS NO LONGER DELIVERING AND YET THE CONTRACT IS STILL IN EFFECT!!! Occ Mindoro has no adequate supply of power because the National Power Corporation's capacity is quite limited. Actually, it is already supplying the volume of electricity that IPC should have been producing. And, mind you, IPC is not and will never be penalized for its failure to deliver. This is mind-boggling! So, one may think aloud: Then, why not challenge the contract in the court? Really, that is the only course insofar as we cannot expect the Villarosa's to finally obey their conscience and decide for a unilateral rescinding of contract to open the provincial requirement for electricity for bidding among competent and able independent power producers. However, since this is a potential civil case, it is doomed to drag in court for as long as the provided lifespan of the contract would last.
  2. Secondly, on account of the abovementioned exclusive contract, there is no independent power producer in its right mind to ever dare to venture to supply power in Occidental Mindoro. Anyone who dares would have to deal with the Villarosa's, and pay them millions of pesos for royalties. Simply because the Villarosa's hold and maintain an exclusive contract with the OMECO.
  3. OMECO, for its part, is and should be a subject of social scrutiny. For one, for the entire 2006, it was consistently losing an average of P6M per month. This loss was accounted for by, among others: excessive administrative costs, engineering lapses resulting to extraordinarily high systems loss, payment of past dues, etc. Likewise, the GM should also be subjected to a lifestyle check -- for the use of the service vehicle of the organization for his family's affairs, his lavish style of living, the dining and wining and womanizing that he affords the members of the board of directors, etc. Organizationally, OMECO is beyond comprehension too. It is cooperative just by name, and not in reality. It is not registered to CDA; and its future prospect of registration to CDA is being blocked by the administration. The GM, because of his close affiliation and connections to the NPC, is more powerful than the Board of Directors. The BoD does not possess the power to hire and fire GM's.
  4. That not all the barangays in the province have electricity is made more complicated by the three conditions of the state of power industry in the province.

Anyway, ... we're still better off than in the days of Stone Age. At least, we have an electric supply that is akin to a smouldering wick.


voces said...

i would rather go back to stone age and get contented with the smouldering wick than pay bill to a power corporation that never was... tsk, tsk, tsk.


there's a scheduled elections again for the board of directors' position before this year ends.. any hope from this occasion? i don't think there is. we may be able to elect a good one, but for sure our good director will just find himself in a quicksand, whose mouth is ready to swallow him and whose muscles are going to pull him down. to me, the at least the initial thing -- and that which would more convincingly effect the liberation of our power industry -- is for the General Manager of OMECO to step down.