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EPIRA Will Not Solve the Mindanao Power Crisis – GWP REP.EMMI DE JESUS
Press Release Posted on April 17th, 2012.
Rep. Emmi De Jesus, 0917-3221203 Rowena Festin, 0915-6349308
“Wala pa man, tumatayo nang spokesperson ang Pangulo para sa mga pribadong sektor na interesadong bumili sa power industry ng Mindanao. Para siyang tinderong naglalatag ng paninda sa baratillo,” thus said GWP Rep. Emmi De Jesus on the President’s statement that he is considering the entry of private investors in ensuring a sustainable power supply in Mindanao.
The Gabriela solon noted that Mindanao has lower power rates than Luzon and Visayas because the region has been temporarily exempted from EPIRA. She further pointed out that Mindanao has an average official poverty incidence of 33.5% of families (the national average is 20.9%), with the country’s three poorest regions coming from Mindanao – CARAGA (39.8%), ARMM (38.1%), and the Zamboanga Peninsula (36.6%).
“Yet, in the face of extreme poverty, Aquino wants the people of Mindanao to shell out more money to supposedly solve its power crisis! Aren’t taxes collected precisely for expenditures such as government infrastructures on energy projects?,” the Gabriela solon remarked.
“Government neglect is accountable for the Mindanao power crisis, because while government still controls some 82% of Mindanao power capacity, it did not invest in additional power capacity to meet the growing demands of the region. It totally abandoned its responsibility to develop and implement power development projects for Mindanao, but instead focused on the privatization of the power sector,” Rep. De Jesus pointed out.
“If the President is keen on solving the power crisis in Mindanao and of the entire country, there is no other way but to repeal EPIRA, and to abandon all privatization and deregulation schemes as these will only mean higher power costs for the individual consumers, especially the poor who can barely put enough food on the table three times a day,” ended De Jesus.