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Gatchalian eyes probe on Occidental Mindoro power supply woes 

A SENATOR, who used to chair the chamber’s energy committee, seeks a probe on the repeated power interruptions in Occidental Mindoro, with one recent incident leaving the province without supply for three days.  

“Without electricity, there is no business (and) people will have no income,” Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian said in a mix of English and Filipino in a statement on Tuesday. “If it continues in the coming months, it will also affect students’ return to school. Will we just allow the situation in Occidental Mindoro to remain this way?”  

“The locals are complaining to me. It’s time we get to the bottom of the recurring power problem in the province,” he added. 

In late June, Occidental Mindoro Consolidated Power Corp. (OMCPC) stopped supplying electricity to Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative, Inc. (OMECO) after their power supply agreement expired.   

OMECO services a total of 240,887 households in the entire province.   

After a three-day blackout, power supply resumed as the Energy Regulatory Commission provisionally approved a power supply agreement between OMECO and OMCPC to address the problem and end lingering rotational outages.   

“If this problem is not solved, the Occidental Mindoro province will be left behind,” the senator said. “Having a continuous supply of electricity is a big thing, whether or not there is a pandemic. This is a reason for the rapid development of a place or a whole country.”  

“If existing laws are not enough to address the problem of supply and quality of electricity in Occidental Mindoro or anywhere else, we can formulate new laws or reforms in current laws,” he added.  

Mr. Gatchalian will file a resolution directing the appropriate Senate committee to conduct an inquiry into the issue. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan 

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