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PNoy’s SoNA

Manila, Philippines – THE President will surely invite attention to his accomplishments for the past two years in his stateof-the-nation address on Monday. We are certain he will harp strongly on his anti-corruption campaign and his tuwid na daan mantra.

As he starts his third year in office, President PNoy should take a good look at the performance of the high officials he has tapped to head important and vital departments and agencies of the government.

Sadly, some of these officials have not measured up to the expectations of the President and the people. A number have strayed away from the President’s tuwid na daan road map.

Among those who have failed to do their jobs are those who headed the department of energy and other agencies directly involved in the power and energy industry.

The increasing prices of petroleum products and the high cost of electricity should be blamed squarely on the high officials of the DoE and the Philippine National Oil Company. The rehabilitation of Agus VI and Pulangi was approved and funded as early as 2010 but the DoE officials did not implement the project immediately. It was only recently that the project was started but it will take three years to finish it and it will be much more expensive.

How can you expect Secretary Almendras and Deputy Secretary Jose Layug to strictly and effectively regulate and supervise the operations of the top players in the oil industry where they used to be high officials?

The primary responsibility of the DoE is to provide our people adequate, stable and cheap energy. The present officials of the department have failed to do this. It is time the leadership in the agencies directly involved in the energy industry be changed.

The power and energy industry is invested with a high degree of public interest that it should always be closely monitored and regulated by the government.

Something is wrong when the government becomes helpless in deterring the irrational increases in the prices of petroleum products and address the outrageous power shortages. The President should appoint as high officials of DoE and PNOC people who are not in anyway connected or previously involved in the operations of the major players in the energy sector.

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