Local government officials welcomed the statement of President Benigno Aquino III to give a chance for the Mindanaoans to manage its power.
This, as President Aquino stated that privatization of the Agus-Polangui hydro-power plant will be given to the people of Mindanao.
Davao Governor Rodolfo del Rosario, in a chance interview Monday after the People’s Organizations Forum hosted by the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP) held at the Grand Regal Hotel here, said the President’s pronouncement was exactly what the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) has proposed for the creation of a Mindanao Power Corporation, which shall serve as a power generation company that would be owned by the Mindanaoans.
“We can form our own power corporation that would properly manage the Agus-Polangui hydro-power plant,” he said.
The said hydro-power plant is the main source of cheap electricity in Mindanao. It supplies 52 percent of the region’s electricity.
During the 1st Mindanao Power Summit last month here, which was attended by the President, local governments and stakeholders unanimously rejected the planned privatization of the Agus-Pulangui hydro-power plant.
They claimed that “privatization would only be giving market power to a private entity. If left with the government without the profit motive, hydro power can blend power rates and mitigate spikes in power prices.”
Instead of privatization, they proposed for the creation of Mindanao Power Corporation that would formulate a viable way to operate and maintain not only the Agus-Pulangui hydro complexes, but the power system of the region “without sacrificing the interest of the people of Mindanao.”
Del Rosario said the idea of creating a power corporation is “to have Mindanaoans be responsible for powering Mindanao.”
The proposed Mindanao Power Corporation will also be tasked in putting up a one-stop shop for power investments and projects in the region.
President Aquino earlier said having a more consistent energy source will give Mindanao a more convincing business proposition to potential investors -not just in the energy sector.
“This isn’t just about energy, this is about attracting investments and creating jobs, and this is about securing the future of this region,” he said. (PNA)