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PIA Press Release

Power distributor calls for PGMA's emergency powers

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (27 February) -- Seeing the need for a drastic move to solve power shortage in Mindanao, Davao Light and Power Company Manuel Orig called for the granting of emergency powers to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

In a stakeholders meeting called by Presidential Adviser for Mindanao Jesus Dureza yesterday (Feb 25) in this city, Orig suggested for the immediate action of the congress to grant President Arroyo emergency powers to address the power crisis.

"Through the Mindanao Electric Power Alliance we are willing to come up with an urgent resolution calling for it," Orig said.

The Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001 provides an electric power crisis provision allowing the President of the Philippines to establish additional generating capacity, as the Congress may authorize.

The proposal to declare Mindanao under a state of emergency first came out from Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, a member of the opposition. This was seen after the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) announced that Mindanao may face a shortfall of four megawatts on May 10, in time for the national and local elections.

The administration welcomed the proposal, however, the President is still studying the matter while ordering Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes to look into the situation and come up with measures.

Presidential Adviser for Mindanao Jesus Dureza also welcomed the proposed resolution by the Mindanao Electric Power Alliance, however, he is quite hesitant that the public may view it as a political spin." It is very important to set the facts clearly first by telling the public the real situation of Mindanao power. This way, we could convince our legislators that a drastic move is needed to address this crisis," Dureza said.

After the stakeholders meeting, Dureza recommended for the establishment of an information desk where all concerned agencies may dispatch information regarding power crisis to reach the general public. (PIA XI) [top]

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