2 gov’t officials clash over Mindanao power crisis, power plants privatization

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SECRETARY Luwalhati Antonino of the Mindanao Development Authority

DAVAO CITY—The reported power crisis in Mindanao and the issue of privatization of two government-run hydro-power facilities have pitted two government officials against each other.
The privatization of the Agus power plant in Lanao and the Pulangui power plant in Bukidnon was being tied to the alleged government losses in operating them and the need to privatize them to resolve the power crisis.
But President Benigno Aquino III’s secretary for Mindanao Luwalhati Antonino dismissed the claim of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (Psalm) Corp. that the government was losing from the operation of the hydropower plants.
Psalm president Emmanuel Ledesma, Jr. had said the government lost up to P15 billion between 2001 and 2011 from its operation of the two hydroplants—which provide 55 percent of Mindanao’s power needs.
But Antonino, armed with copies of financial statements of Psalm and the National Power Corp. (Napocor), said on the contrary, the hydropower facilities earned P68 billion, or an annual average of P6 billion, during the same period.
“It’s not pure allegations that Agus and Pulangui are net income earners. These were backed by financial records of Napocor and Psalm,” Antonino told reporters here Wednesday.
The problem, she said, was that whatever net income the hydropower facilities generated during the said period, it went to other ‘losing’ government power assets in Mindanao.
She said the net loss posted by these other facilities—including diesel-fired plants—reached P83 billion over the 10-year period, resulting in an overall loss of P15.03 billion for government power assets in Mindanao.
“Psalm failed to state that the P15.03 billion was not an actual loss,” Antonino said.
She also questioned an item on the amortization for the 210 megawatt coal-fired power plant operated by Steag AG in Misamis Oriental amounting to P5.679 billion, which should not have been computed as part of losses.
She said the amount represented capital lease amounting to P1.089 billion a year from 2007 to 2032, when the coal plant built under the build-operate scheme shall have been turned over to the government.
Antonino said that instead of Agus and Pulangui, the government should privatize the losing assets, which had caused the hydroplants “severe financial bleeding.”
“If Psalm used up every centavo earned by Agus and Pulangui to subsidize these losing Napocor assets, then it should have not allowed the hydro plants to deteriorate,” Antonino said.
“If it had allocated for rehabilitation and repair a portion of the hydropower plants’ internally generated earnings, the plants could have been generating power at rated capacities, instead of just 65 per cent,” she added.
More importantly, Antonino said “there would have been no supply deficits or rotating brownouts but reliable power and increased income for the Agus-Pulangui complexes.” “Psalm’s statement cunningly presented half-truths by stressing only about losses, but not about how Agus and Pulangui saved billions of government money,” Antonino said.
Meanwhile, militant groups are spearheading their own version of the Mindanao Power summit here on Friday.
Manjette Lopez, acting president of the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC), said the consumers’ summit is in response to the government-initiated Mindanao power summit in April, which she said, had “failed to reflect the views of those most affected.”
“The voice of those who actually shoulder the burden of the power crisis was not heard during last month’s Mindanao Power Summit attended by President Aquino and other stakeholders that’s why electric-power consumers in Mindanao are holding their own gathering this Friday,” Lopez said.

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  • les21reago

    Antonino is more qualified than Sec. Almendras…The former DO its homework while the LATER just copied other wrong homework…PNOY being SMART will surely gravitate with Antonino…My BOSS who is a Manager working with ALTO POWER in Mindanao has the same VIEW of ANTONINO…What made him wonder is the being SILENT of Senator Osmena on the subject apparently because the ABOITEZES will benifit on the SALES of this revenue generating hydro plants.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E3CE56OQVPC4RPYD2NR4VD3SUE Bert

      i agree with you except the “smart” thing…..and take note, the aboitizes and the osmenas are pnoy’s kkk’s which i think will factor in in pnoy’s whatever decision…..

  • tonto_ka

    Psalm president Emmanuel Ledesma, Jr. had said the government lost up to P15 billion between 2001 and 2011 from its operation of the two hydroplants—which provide 55 percent of Mindanao’s power needs.Ledesma are you ignorant enough to deceive the people the hydroelectric plants are losing? Where did you earned your degree? do you know simple arithmetic ledesma? have you not learned that hydro electric plants are not consuming fossil fuel to generate electricity???sayang BOBONG PRESIDENTE ka pala eh

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/J4X5RZIRHCGVSXJWSH7DEFN6WI rodger66

      Ledesma doesn’t actually cares, what he cares more is his shares once it is sold to private corporation…

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/J4X5RZIRHCGVSXJWSH7DEFN6WI rodger66

    Osmena and Aboitiz have family ties thru marriage, so it is not unusual for Sen. Sergio Osmena to protect thier family assets…

  • xerna david

    I would love to hear the side of Ledesma on this one.  I smell something fishy on him telling the half truth, putting to bad light the flight of the two gaining Hydro power systems, when in fact they are very gainful units!  Selling them to private hands will surely raise beyond the roof the cost of electricity in Mindanao, as the government will be helpless in stopping the private owners from exacting higher electricity cost.  To whose interests do Ledesma is trying to promote,  his private cohorts or the public?  He even misled President PNoy into believing that the root cause of the problem is the cheap cost of electricity! outrageous! down to Ledesma, resign now!  I don’t like to see your stinking butt a second longer in your present position.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QZZKXPEA67I7HELEIYM35QVYFA Jon

    Eh di lumabas na din.
    KKK, di pala marunong magbilang. 
    Ang alam lang ay kumabig ng kumabig.
    At unahin ang sarili at pamilya habang ang naghihikahos na taongbayan.

  • Malik62

    Now they’re like carps in a fishpond fighting over the goodies, and BS Aquino x3 cannot control his subordinates.

  • Bryan Kevin Tung

    why is antonino going against the president. hala ka madam! magbalot ka na ng gamit mo.

  • rudy_boy

    There will be no Private takers if the dam is losing.

    It’s commons sense.

    All the the dams in the north are now operated by Aboitez Group of Company. Aboitez tha former President of NAPOCOR during Cory;s time and prior to the massive brownouts in during FVR term.

    He was accused by some sector of deliberately neglecting the NPC during his term so that his business in Generator Power swill be utilized.

    PSALM is the company responsible for the rigging of Biddings for TRANSCO ( The transmission & subsatation part of NAPOCOR) to Razon Company now passed over the majority to Henry Sy.

    They changed PSALM President, but not the system.

    Why? Because the PRIVATE electric businessmen are the one who are appointing the DOE, NPC, TRANSCO, PSALM..etc. IF you crossed their path…tangal ka.

    Congressman Antonino, thanks for the.information and the fight. But i think your against the Forbes Listed Billionaires…

    Good Luck and More Power…

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