Senator wants Agus-Pulangui hydro complexes state-owned, professionally run

THE Senate energy committee prefers keeping the Agus-Pulangi hydroelectric power facilities in Mindanao in government hands, but with professional management from the private sector installed.

“If ever, the Senate will keep Agus-Pulangi in the portfolio of government gencos (power generation companies),” said Sherwin T. Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate committee on energy in a recent interview.

The Agus hydro power asset has an installed capacity of at least 700 megawatts (MW). The biggest plant in the complex is the 200-MW Agus VI in Iligan City, which has five operating units, two of which have a capacity of 25 MW each and the rest with 50 MW each.

The Pulangi hydroelectric power plant in Maramag, Bukidnon has three units, each with an installed capacity of 85 MW. The power generation facilities are considered Mindanao’s crown jewels.

“My personal proposal is to create a new company, [and] move the assets of Agus-Pulangi in that new company,” Mr. Gatchalian said.

“That company will operate as a GOCC (government-owned or -controlled corporation), but managed professionally,” he said.

“We can privatize the operation and maintenance, but the asset is owned by the government. What’s important here is that asset should be managed professionally,” he said.

He said his preference for private managers was because “government-style management… is prone to corruption.”

Read more here.


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