ERC called out for ‘slow action’ on Occidental Mindoro brownouts | Inquirer News

ERC called out for ‘slow action’ on Occidental Mindoro brownouts

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 11:16 PM July 26, 2022

Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) logo. STORY: ERC called out for ‘slow action’ on Occidental Mindoro brownouts

MANILA, Philippines — Occidental Mindoro Rep. Leody Tarriela expressed frustration on Tuesday over the “very slow action” of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) in addressing the rotating brownouts in his province.

As early as June 25, the province experienced a massive blackout after the plant of the Occidental Mindoro Consolidated Power Corp. (OMCPC), had been shut down.


According to Tarriela, OMCPCis the sole power supplier of the Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative (Omeco), the province’s distributor.


It was only after a week after the shutdown that OMCPC resumed operations. However, only its 5-megawatt and 7-megawatt diesel power plants were turned on, leaving their biggest plant, with a capacity of 20 megawatts, shut down.

This, Tarriela said, has resulted in six to eight hours of daily rotational brownouts in the province.

“The power requirement of Occidental Mindoro is at least 27 megawatts. In its three power supply agreements, OMCPC committed to supply a total of 31 megawatts of electricity. Now, it is supplying only 12 megawatts. This resulted in our province suffering from an average of 6 to 8 hours of daily rotational brownouts,” Tarriela said said in a statement.

According to the lawmaker, the OMCPC explained that the ERC needed to clarify an order it had issued, which was why it continued not to use its 20-megawatt plant.

In a July 12 letter, Tarriela asked the ERC to “immediately issue a resolution on the ongoing power outages” in Occidental Mindoro.

Tarriela noted the OMCPC shut down its power plants after the ERC’s Notice of Resolution on June 23, in which it did not agree to extend the transition period between OMCPC and Omeco.


Power only resumed after the ERC said OMPC should supply power to Omeco based on the power supply agreement signed in January.

However, OMCPC said it could not make its 20 megawatts operate without ERC approval. It added that it had filed a motion for clarification before the ERC. Omeco appealed to the ERC for temporary approval.

“In their understanding, OMCPC is only operating its seven-megawatts and five-megawatts diesel-powered generating units, while its 20-megawatt diesel-fired power plant remains shut down,” Tarriela wrote in the letter.

The lawmaker revealed in his letter that the OMCPC would continue to not operate its 20-megawatt plant until its urgent motion for clarification could be resolved.

“Almost a month has passed since OMCPC shut down its plant and the brownouts started. Fifteen days have passed since I wrote the ERC, yet I am still to receive even just a courtesy acknowledgment of my letter,” Tarriela said in a statement.

“More importantly, ERC is still to act on this issue. They know for a fact that their resolution of this issue would immediately solve this problem of continuing brownouts in our Province,” he added.

He slammed the OMCPC and the ERC for treating the issue “like a game, playing with the welfare, livelihood, health, and everyday lives of our people.”

“The ERC Commissioners should resign if they cannot perform their job properly. They failed, and continue to fail, to uphold their sworn duties to protect the electricity consumers and penalize the abusive and monopolistic practices of energy sector companies like the OMCPC,” Tarriela said.

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