Rufus Rodriguez: No to Aquino’s emergency powers
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines—Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez vowed to block the proposal of the Department of Energy for Congress to grant President Benigno Aquino III emergency powers to solve the power crisis in the country.
Rodriguez issued the statement Wednesday, even as he criticized Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla for not taking the initiative to solve the power shortage felt by the Mindanao people when they suffered long hours of power outages months ago.
He said Petilla started ringing the alarm bells only after seeing projections of the power shortage affecting Luzon.
“Secretary Petilla is giving unfair and unequal treatment of Mindanao vis-à-vis Luzon,” Rodriguez told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone.
“Now he (Petilla) is very frantic. Why the neglect for Mindanao and ultra-concern for Luzon?” Rodriguez asked.
The lawmaker said Petilla should first come up with a plan and a roadmap that would benefit the entire country in solving the power crisis and not just one area.
Sergio Dagooc, president of the 32-member Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives (Amreco), agreed with Rodriguez by saying Petilla has shown bias against Mindanao.
He said in a text message that Petilla did not act much when Mindanao was suffering from outages, contrary to what the official did in the case of Luzon.
“Focus first and list down his proposal on what should be done with the Mindanao power situation,” Rodriguez said.
Michael Sino Cruz, chief of planning at the Department of Energy, said contrary to perception, the agency has been working to address the power problem, including the one affecting Mindanao.
About 1,065 megawatts of power has been committed for Mindanao by 2016, Cruz said.
He said the problem of the lack of power has been complicated by the prohibition under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act on the construction of government-funded power plants.
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