The Department of Energy and other power regulatory agencies are working together to address supply issues in the missionary areas, including the P1.2 billion debt of National Power Corp. to Petron Corp. for the fuel needs of power plants in the Small Power Utilities Group.
“Right now, we are just addressing the P1.2 billion that is owed by Napocor to Petron for the fuel,” Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said during a Senate hearing.
“Universal charge for missionary electrification cannot sustain it even with a P0.20 increase. This is a difficult time for all of the parties but we will make sure that there is coordination among all agencies,” Lotilla said.
Lotilla said the different agencies would meet to discuss and solve the current issues plaguing the missionary areas.
The local government of Mindoro wants Napocor to supply electricity to Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative, Inc. (OMECO) amid the ongoing blackouts in the province.
However, Napocor officials said they must look at the company’s finances and ability to procure fuel.
Lotilla earlier electricity prices in missionary areas had gone up significantly, given surging fuel costs.
“Imagine how the price of diesel and bunker fuel increased in the last year alone. And can you imagine the cost of electricity in order to produce for our people in the major islands like Mindoro, Masbate, and Palawan. All these off-grid areas have to be provided with power, and the costs have skyrocketed,” Lotilla said.
“The amount of subsidy has been inadequate, and therefore Napocor has run out of funds,” he said.