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Monday, April 14, 2014

Republic Act No. 9136 - The EPIRA Law

Republic Act No. 9136


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philines in Congress assembled:


SECTION 1.  Short Title. - This Act shall be known as the "Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001."  It shall hereinafter be referred to as the Act.

SECTION 2.  Declaration of Policy. - It is hereby declared the policy of the State:
(a) To ensure and accelerate the total electrification of the country;
(b) To ensure the quality, reliability, security and affordability of the supply of electric power;
(c) To ensure transparent and reasonable prices of electricity in a regime of free and fair competition and full public accountability to achieve greater operational and economic efficiency and enhance the competitiveness of Philippine products in the global market;
(d) To enhance the inflow of private capital and broaden the ownership base of the power generation, transmission and distribution sectors;
(e) To ensure fair and non-discriminatory treatment of public and private sector entities in the process of restructuring the electric power industry;
(f) To protect the public interest as it is affected by the rates and services of electric utilities and other providers of electric power;
(g) To assure socially and environmentally comparable energy sources and infrastructures;
(h) To promote the utilization of indigenous and new and renewable energy resources in power generation in order to reduce dependence on imported energy;
(i) To provide for an orderly and transparent privatization of the assets and liabilities of the National Power Corporation (NPC);
(j) To establish a strong and purely independent regulatory body and system to ensure consumer protection and enhance the competitive operation of the electricity market, and
(k) To encourage the efficient use of energy and other modalities of demand side management.
SEC. 3. Scope. - This Act shall provide a framework for the restructuring of the electric power industry, including the privatization of the assets of NPC, the transition to the desired competitive structure, and the definition of the responsibilities of the various government agencies and private entities.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Call for Waterfalling Adventure Tour Participants

By:  Lisa Marie Mirasol
Pinay Travelista

ILIGAN CITY, Philippines (11 Apr 2014) - The Iligan Bloggers Society (IBS), Inc. will once again hold its Waterfalling Adventure Tour (WAT) that targets waterfalls enthusiasts bloggers from all over the Philippines.  

The WAT is now on its third year, and is the IBS' way of promoting Iligan City as a tourist destination by showcasing several of its wondrous natural treasures.  The activity is open to interested bloggers who are healthy, adventurous, and who is up for a long weekend of waterfall chasing.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Is the ILPI power rate increase application reasonable?

By:  Dra. Melchie Ambalong
Chairperson, LAPOCOF
0917-715-0188; 221-2996

Before May 2013, ILPI has only one source of power supply which is wholly from NPC/PSALM at 15.732MW.  There are other sources which ILPI have tapped.  Also it could have waited for the IDPP to function.

Because of this dependence on only one source, ILPI cannot meet the power need of Iligan City at 37-38 MW.  ILPI entered into Power Supply Agreements (PSAs) with Mapalad Power Corporation (MPC) and with Mapalad Energy Generating Corporation (MEGC).

MPC has started supplying ILPI with 10 MW since May 9, 2013.  By July to August, MEGC will start supplying ILPI with 12.75 MW.

The Energy Regulatory Commission gave Provisional Authorities to the PSA of ILPI and MEGC at a rate of Php 10.4495 per kilowatt-hour, and the PSA of ILPI and MPC at Php 9.5069/kWh.

What is the Issue?

Unlike other distribution utilities (DUs) in Mindanao, ILPI has not made enough effort to mitigate impact of projected energy crisis:
  • Davao Light/CEPALCO/COLIGHT/FIBECO which had foresight and business acumen to put up their own generators, their franchise areas are not suffering brownout with average electricity rate for Mindanao.
  • If only ILPI sourced power from Therma Marine, brownout would have been mitigated in 2011, 2012, 2013.
  • ILPI failed to find ways to make use of the Iligan Diesel Power Plants (IDPP) despite its location just in its doorsteps.  LAPOCOF has been against its sale and has made several engagements and communication with the LGU, DOE, up to President Aquino, of the immediacy of running it since 2010.  If IDPP were put on stream in 2011, there would have been no brownout in 2011, 2012, 2013.
  • ILPI did not make an effort to claim the "host benefit" provided in the RA 7638 that entitles Iligan 45 MW or the 25% of the 180 MW operating capacity of the hydro-electric power plants Agus 5, 6 and 7, which supposed supply is more than enough to answer the need of Iligan, which is at 37 to 38MW only.
Because of the non-functioning of the IDPPs, ILPI had a reason to set-up a sister company, the Mapalad Energy Generating Corporation (MEGC), which will have a power rate impact that will make Iligan the highest in Mindanao.

Finally, Iligan City successfully sold IDPP to Conal Holding in March 2013 at Php 378.91-million, Php 196-million lesser than the tax payable of NPC for the Iligan Diesel Power Plants to the Iligan LGU.  

As an IPP, before the BOT contract expired, Conal Holding was the majority stockholder of the NMPC, now renamed as Mapalad Power Corporation.

LAPOCOF, together with the Legal Office of the City of Iligan has filed to the ERC a "Motion to Recall the Power Supply Agreement" between ILPI and MEGC, which will fix an exorbitantly high electricity rate increase for the next 20 years, even if cheaper supply would be made available.

OPTIONS for the Consumers:
  1. Put forward a strong, well-studied, convincing Position Paper which hopefully will sway the ERC to over-turn the rates in the Power Supply Agreements of ILPI with MEGC and MPC, which were provisionally approved by ERC. 
  2. Push ILPI and Iligan City Government to strongly work for the enforcement of RA 7638 that entitles Iligan 45 MW or the 25% of the 180 MW operating capacity of Agus 6 and 7, which is enough to supply the power need of Iligan City.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

SSS improves system of employer reimbursement for sickness, maternity

By: Lorry V. Gabule

ILIGAN CITY, Philippines (18 Mar 2014) - As part of Social Security System's (SSS) campaign to enhance its service delivery, employers all over the country can now receive their reimbursements for advance payments of employees' sickness and maternity benefits directly at their own bank account, instead of waiting for SSS checks from the mail.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Starting Tuesday March 11 Larapan Bridge closes to traffic daily from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

ILIGAN CITY, Philippines (7 Mar 2014) - The LARAPAN (Napo) BRIDGE in Linamon town in Lanao del Norte shall be closed to traffic for four (4) hours daily from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. starting TUESDAY, March 11, 2014, DPWH Lanao del Norte 2nd Engineering Office announced.  

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Regencia inks agreement with Mapalad Power Corp, HOLCIM and Alcantara Foundation

ILIGAN CITY, Philippines (6 Mar 2014) - MAYOR Celso G. Regencia signs agreement Thursday with Mapalad Power Corporation (MPC), the Conrado and Ladislawa Alcantara Foundation, Inc. (CLAFI), and HOLCIM Philippines, Inc. to build artificial reef domes (ARD) and develop mangrove projects within the City.

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