THE Department of Energy (DOE) is keen on fast-tracking the study aimed to determine the best way to privatize the state-run 982-megawatt Agus-Pulangi hydroelectric power plants (Hepp) in Mindanao.

Energy undersecretary Felix Willam Fuentebella told reporters at the sidelines of the Wholesale Electricity Sport Market–Mindanao press briefing at Pidoks, Davao City, that privatizing Agus-Pulangi Hepp is but a necessity under Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) of 2001.

“Epira also directed that we have to consult the Mindanao-based representatives and we do. We already told them that we need to pass this move to settle all these concerns. As far as DOE is concerned we really have to follow whatever are sentiments of the Mindanao representatives,” he said.

The Joint Congressional Power Commission (JCPC) has also ordered Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (Psalm) to fast-track the privatization.

JCPC is an oversight committee tasked to set the directions for the power facilities.

In a recent hearing, Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) party list Representative Jericho Morales told Psalm that it should submit a report or study on the long-stalled privatization options for the Hepp. The study, he said, is critical in JCPC’s recommendation on how the facility will be privatized.

Also, financial health of the company and its receivables are considered as other major decision-making points for the Agus-Pulangi Hepp.

It was reported that Psalm Officer-in-Charge Lourdes Alzona said they are eyeing to finish the study next month. The study, she said, will be submitted to the energy department for discussion, and then to JCPC.

Under Epira, the hydro power complex should be privatized in 10 years after the passage of the law.