Energy Summit aims for consensus over Mindanao power issue

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Amid claims that the Energy Summit is a farce, Malacañang assured the public that stakeholders would seek consensus

MANILA, Philippines – A consensus among the consumers, power suppliers and the local governments is paramount to solving the power shortage in Mindanao, said Malacañang ahead of an Energy Summit in the region on April 13.  

Rejecting the claims the the summit is a mere show, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda stressed in a news briefing on April 10 that the event is not meant to seemingly let people air their opinions only to then proceed with the government’s agenda.

“It’s not a ‘moro-moro’ (facade),” Lacierda said.

“There are proposed solutions but it is something that they would have to decide. That’s why the President has always stated… everybody should be on the same page when it comes to addressing the concern of energy in Mindanao,” he stressed.

Still, Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño believed the summit was a show to get approval for the Department of Energy’s agenda, according to a Manila Bulletin report.

Casiño was quoted saying that the “summit would just be a rubber stamp for DOE circular DC 2010-03-0004, which forces consumers to pay an additional 50 to 80 centavos per-kilowatt-hour for their electricity due to the manipulations of favored private power generators.” 

In the same interview, Casino said the summit was “meant to convince the people of Mindanao of the supposed need to deploy more coal-fired and diesel power plants despite Mindanao’s abundance in clean and renewable energy sources.” 

But Lacierda said the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), which is independent from DOE, would the organization to approve new power contracts for Mindanao. 

He stressed that the DOE is not in charge of the Energy Summit. “This is not organized by the Department of Energy. The Energy Summit was organized by Mindanao Development Authority. DOE only helps,” he said. 

He added that all the stakeholders in Mindanao would have a say.

“You’ve got the generators, the transmission distributors, the electric cooperatives, the consumers, the local government. So we need to come up with a consensus on how to address the energy situation in Mindanao,” said Lacierda –

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