GMA,  DOE  MEETING  ON  PRIVATIZATION  OF  POWER  ASSETS,  LOWERING  RATES

MANILA, AUGUST 20, 2007 (STAR) By Paolo Romero - President Arroyo will meet today with Department of Energy officials, led by Secretary Angelo Reyes, to check the status of the agency’s efforts to immediately privatize state power assets and reduce power electricity rates, Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said yesterday.

Bunye said the meeting, which will be held at the DOE office at Fort Bonifacio, is intended to remind Reyes and other energy department officials of Mrs. Arroyo’s twin principal agenda.

“She believes that privatization of activities that can be more efficiently handled by the private sector will not only allow the government to concentrate on its core functions but also help government meet its deficit targets,” Bunye said.

He said lower power rates, on the other hand, will not only benefit the average Filipino family but will also lower the cost of doing business in the Philippines and make the country more competitive.

Last month, Mrs. Arroyo called on Congress to amend the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 or Republic Act 9136 to allow for greater access and competition to reduce power rates.

Malacañang earlier announced that the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) is set to privatize 50 percent of the National Power Corp.’s assets within the year.

PSALM is the state agency tasked with selling government power assets. Napocor operates 28 power plants in the country.

Secretary to the Cabinet Ricardo Saludo earlier said the sale of the assets would boost business confidence and generate needed investments for future electricity needs of the country. He said the government will save P40 billion annually after it stops running the power plants.

The Masinloc coal-fired power plant in Zambales was to be bid out in the middle of the year, with the deal expected to be completed in two to three months while the Calaca coal-fired power plant would be bid out on the first half of October and closing early next year, he said. The Palimpinon geothermal plant would be bid out on the second half of October, followed by the Ambuklao-Binga hydroelectric power plant in November.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2007  by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE