Rep. Reynaldo "RU" Umali
2nd District, Oriental Mindoro, Philippines
ENERGY BILLS TACKED IN COMMITTEE
June 01, 2015. QUEZON CITY—The House Committee on Energy discussed today different bills focusing on energy efficiency and conservation. 13 bills and resolutions were discussed by the committee with different resource persons from other government agencies and the private sector participating.
Umali said that the government, industries, and households alike must observe energy conservation practices. Through energy conservation, the government was able to prevent a power crisis that would have hit the country during the summer months. Umali’s committee pushed for the implementation of the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) which basically allowed companies to use their generators to generate more power during peak hours. According to Umali, the government save six billion pesos through ILP.
“We need not put up a power plant. If we were able to save 400 or 500 megawatts of power, it is like putting up a new 400 or 500 megawatts of power plant without cost. It is also a conservation measure because the consumers have to pay less,” said Umali. According to Umali, different processes can be implemented to ensure energy efficiency and conservation. For one, widening the use of solar panels in localities can lessen the transmission costs, lowering the price of electricity. Umali also said that education for proper use of energy is needed so that consumers in the household levels can save energy. Ultimately, efficient use of energy can help in furthering the development of different sectors. “Power precedes development,” said Umali.
Batanes Rep. Henedina Abad, on the other hand, called on the resource persons to help the legislators craft useful bills for the people and not just give comments that the legislators will not use.
Despite the large number of bills tackled, Umali upholds his commitment not to let any illegality get through in the committee level. Meanwhile, both public and private sectors pledged their support for the bills on energy efficiency and conservation.
MINPOCOR BILL APPROVED IN COMMITTEE
May 19, 2015. Quezon City – The house committees on Energy, Government Enterprises and Privitization, and Mindanao Affairs have approved in a joint committee hearing the bill that aims to establish Mindanao Power Corporation (Minpocor).
The bill, entitled “An Act Creating the Mindanao Power Corporation and Providing Funds Therefor,” was authored by Rep. Edgardo Masongsong together with 33 other legislators. It aims to substitute House Bills 676, 2621, and 4883. Oriental Mindoro 2nd District and House Committee on Energy Rep. Reynaldo V. Umali has presided in the hearing together with Reps. Arnulfo Go (House Committee on Mindanao Affairs) and Jesus Sacdalan (House Committee on Government Enterprises and Privitization). Rep. Umali facilitated the hearing.
Resource persons and the legislators raised different issues that they think can hamper the passage of the Minpocor bill, among them the question of the Bangsamoro Basic Law and how it can affect the implementation of Minpocor. Both the legislators and the resource persons have expressed strong support for the passage of the Minpocor bill because of its importance in the development of Mindanao. Minpocor, if established, aims to provide sufficient but affordable power supply across Mindanao.
Rep. Umali highlighted that the lack of sufficient and reliable power supply has resulted to the underdevelopment in Mindanao and other parts of the country. “I know that the power in Mindanao is short. Why should I go there?” He adds that stable power supply serves as a magnet for the people and therefore leads to increased economic activities. “That is the natural tendency. When you put in power, definitely people will gravitate towards it, and people would want to engage in some business,” said Rep. Umali. According to him, the government should prioritize power in crafting laws and implementing projects. “Power precedes development,” Rep. Umali said. He opines that this will benefit greatly the Mindanaoans who had long suffered from inadequate power supply and hence, underdevelopment.
With the passage of the Minpocor in the committee level, Rep. Umali states that it needs to go through the committees on appropriation and ways and means before being tackled in the Plenary. He urged his fellow legislators to hasten the passage of the bill because the upcoming campaign season for the 2016 elections may sidetrack the bill’s enactment into law.
Rep. Umali also co-chairs the Joint Congressional Power Commission and the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Biofuels.