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There are hundreds of tourists attractions in the Philippines. But as a lover of the Island of Marinduque (Home of the Morions and Heart of the Philippines), I am indeed partial to its beauty, charm and its friendly and hospitable residents. Therefore, help me achieve my dream of seeing this island becomes a world tourist destination, by telling all your friends and relatives about this site. Welcome, to you all, new readers and faithful followers of this site! The photo above is Poctoy White Beach in Torrijos, Marinduque with beautiful and majestic Mt Malindig in the background. Some of the photos and videos on this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on infringing your copyrights. Please do not forget to read the latest National and International news in the right side bar of this blog!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Latest Update on Power Outages in Marinduque


Here's the latest update on the power outages in Marinduque from Eli Obligacion blog, in case of you have not read it. I found this post very informative and educational.

Monday, October 5, 2009
MARINDUQUE POWER OUTAGES – part 2
WHAT'S REALLY BEHIND ALL THESE?

("Vicious and pernicious" is how Board Member Eleuterio Raza, Jr., Chair, Committe on Rules & Legal Matters of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, rightly describes the power outage situation in Marinduque. It has worsened now with up to 24-hour brownouts. "When will we see the light at the end of the tunnel?", asked BM Jose Alvarez, vice-chair of the said committee, during a public hearing last Thursday, Sept. 30 at the Capitol Session Hall. Alvarez went as far as suggesting that a declaration of a State of Emergency in Marinduque might be an option to consider. Following is the second post on this subject by this blogger).

In a consultation meeting with the Department of Energy and Napocor that transpired in 2004, the Marinduque Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Marelco), opted to have its own New Power Provider (NPP), in the promulgation of DOE’s Circular No. 2004-01-001.

Under this arrangement, Napocor’s function is limited to the maintenance of existing capacity with units at Bantad and Poctoy, including the power barge in Balanacan that was secured in 1997 by Gov. Carrion during his incumbency (1995-1998).


The said existing Napocor units being used today are already too old and their capabilities have greatly diminished. Marinduque requires 6.76 MW at its peak. Current capacity is only 3.1 MW. This has resulted in recurring brownouts lasting up to 24 hours.

The Marelco decision in 2004 to have its own New Power Provider put into place pilot projects for the privatization of the National Power Corp. under the Small Power Utilities Group (NPC-SPUG).

3i POWERGEN, the New Power Provider:

3i Powergen became the New Power Provider for Marinduque on the basis of a contract signed on Sept. 27, 2005, between Marelco, Napocor and the said company with then incumbent government officials, then Cong. Edmundo Reyes, then Gov. Carmencita Reyes and then provincial administrator Luisito Reyes signing as witnesses.

3i Powergen was to introduce a new technology in power generation that will harness wind energy potentials in the island province. It was to utilize Wind-Diesel Hybrid Technology to boost the electric power requirements of Marinduque.

It was to put up a 15.7-mw hybrid wind-diesel plant with investments estimated at P677 million.


The commercial operation of the plant was to start by February 2007. 3i Powergen, however, failed to implement the contract as the company went bankrupt and its financiers have left the country, according to its Vice-President, Domingo Lagundi, and as reported by Marelco itself. (SP Public Hearing, Sept. 30, 2009).

The contract was never implemented, the project never took off. Marelco, however, has remained passive and has not taken up the issue squarely with Napocor and the relevant authorities until today, that would have led to a resolution of this particular issue.

NAPOCOR, the Power Development Entity:

State-owned Napocor at the present time, is still planning to raise money for the financing of its Small Power Utilities Group’s (SPUG) budget to cover next year’s requirements. SPUG is Napocor’s missionary electrification arm, taking on a leading role in planning power development in missionary areas such as Marinduque.


Napocor assesses requirements and prospects for missionary electrification including the program for private sector participation. SPUG operates 304 generating units with a total generated capacity of about 129 MW. It serves 78 small islands and eight off-grid areas or those areas not connected to the Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao grids. It provides electricity to 42 customers consisting of 39 electric cooperatives. (manilatimes.net, Sept. 11, 2009; phistar.com, Oct. 5, 2009)

MARELCO, The Power Distributor:

Marinduque Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Marelco), exists as a cooperative under the jurisdiction and control of the National Elecrification Administration (NEA). Marelco is tasked with the distribution of power.

Under Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA), electric cooperatives are given the option to register either with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) or the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Under R.A. 9136, electric cooperatives should enjoy the principles of democratic control, autonomy and independence wherein the general membership assembly is the highest policy and decision-making body empowered to dictate to the cooperative board of director and management what it wants, and not to the whims and caprices of any government agency.

Cooperatives could then thrive as "self-sufficient and independent organizations with minimal government intervention or regulation" as envisioned under the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008.

Further, registration of cooperatives under the CDA would result in the restoration of their exemption status from taxes by local government units (LGUs) on real property, franchise, income, as well as on importation of needed equipment, value-added tax, translating into lower electricity rates for the benefit of the member-customer-owners.

Marelco, however, has opted NOT to register with the Cooperative Development Authority nor the Securities and Exchange Commission and therefore not an independent organization but one subject to the “whims and caprices of any government agency”.

(to be continued)

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