From the BusinessWorld Online
05 February 2012

       THE FORMULATION of a dam safety program and the privatization of some off-grid areas are some of the items included in a work plan set by state-run National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) for the next two years, an official said in a statement.

       "We have formulated key result areas in the hope that they will help us set our path for the future and put into a more accurate perspective the new roles that NAPOCOR will play in the power industry, and more significantly, in the country," NAPOCOR President Froilan A. Tampinco said late Friday.

       Updating the Dam Safety Program, he said, will ensure the safe operations of NAPOCOR's dams and reservoirs, a sticking point in last year's flooding particularly in Calumpit, Bulacan, in September that was blamed in part on the release of water from Angat dam in the aftermath of typhoon Pedring (international name: Nesat).

       NAPOCOR owns and operates the Angat multipurpose dam also in Bulacan. Water release from dams are regulated by the National Water Resources Board.

       The privatization of financially viable Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG) areas, the statement noted, will start with those in Palawan and Mindoro.

       NAPOCOR through SPUG manages and operates 157 power utilities in off-grid areas with a combined capacity of 200 megawatts.

       Some of these areas have already been privatized.

       The identified SPUG areas are the provinces of Mindoro, Batangas, Marinduque, Quezon, Palawan, Catanduanes, Albay, Romblon, Batanes, Cagayan, Aurora, Apayao, Kalinga, Isabela, Camarines Sur, Masbate, Cebu, Siquijor, Antique, Iloilo, Leyte, Biliran, Samar, Basilan, Sulu, Dinagat, Sultan Kudarat, Davao, Surigao del Norte, Zamboanga and Tawi-Tawi.

       Power was cut in these areas last year as Napocor failed to pay fuel suppliers.

       Aside from the dam safety standards upgrade and SPUG privatization, the NAPOCOR will implement social and environmental measures to maximize the potential of the Agus 2 Hydroelectric Power Plant by providing additional downstream reservoir capacity at the Balo-i plains.

       NAPOCOR also operates the Agus-Pulangi hydroelectric power plant in Mindanao.

       Eco-tourism projects will also be established within NAPOCOR's watersheds, according to the work plan.

       Other key result areas eyed by Napocor are the computerization of its financial system, improvement in its collection efficiency for the accounts receivables for SPUG areas, development of a fuel inventory and monitoring system to prevent SPUG areas from losing power and the development of a performance management system that measures productivity of its employees and of the firm.