Historical Profile of ORMECO
Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ORMECO, Inc.) is a non-stock, non-profit and service-oriented rural electric cooperative, duly organized under existing Philippine laws, rule and regulation. The National Electrification Administration (NEA) divided ORMECO coverage area – Oriental Mindoro – into seven (7) district namely: District I – Baco, San Teodoro and Puerto Galera; District II – Calapan City; District III – Naujan and Victoria; District IV – Socorro and Pola; District V – pinamalayan and Gloria; District VI – Bansud and Bongabong; & District VII – Roxas, Mansalay, Bulalacao. Its mission is to carry out the dream of total electrification of Oriental Mindoro along with and affordable, reliable and efficient quality of service.
THE FEASIBILITY STUDY – THE HISTORY of the Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative, Inc. – ORMECO dates back to the issuance of Memorandum Order No.395 dated September 1970 by then President Ferdinand E. Marcos, which paved the way to the establishment and organization of the Provincial Electric Cooperative Team (PECT) on March 12, 1971. The PECT was in charge of promoting, assisting and undertaking the feasibility study on November 12, 1972, of the fifteen towns of the whole province, only towns of Baco, San Teodoro, Calapan, Naujan and Victoria were approved to comprise the ORMECO.
ORGANIZATIONAL / REGISTRATION
ON February 16, 1973, after the Board of Directors were organize, the Articles of Incorporation was signed and registered in the presence of then Secretary of Natural Resources Jose J. Leido Jr., Governor Alfonso Umali, NEA Deputy administrator Elisea C. Tirona, PECT, and heads of Municipal, Province and National Offices ORMECO utilized a portion of the gymnasium of the present day Jose L. Leido, Jr. Memorial High School as its first headquarters.
Since the merging of ORMECO I & II, the latter’s history has always been an important part of ORMECO’s tale. ORMECO II was born when the clamour for the service of electricity on the southern part of Oriental Mindoro becomes so strong, that it was decided, after a thorough study that another electric cooperative needs to be established. On August 15, 1977, after a series of public assemblies and the District Electrification Committee was organized, another electric cooperative was established. It came to be known as the Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative Inc. (ORMECO II), while its older sister coop became ORMECO I. ORMECO II was then registered with the National Electrification Administration and was mandated to extend, its electric service to the nine (9) remaining towns of Oriental Mindoro not previously covered by the franchise holder at Pinamalayan which sold its entire system as well as all its rights and privileges to ORMECO II. However, ORMECO II operated on a system that they would purchase power from ORMECO I which they would sell to their consumers.
After ORMECO II’s construction loan to NEA was approved, they slowly began constructing their distribution lines and backbone system. On February 14, 1979, barely more than a year its organization, the town of Socorro was energize. The municipalities of Pola, Pinamalayan, Gloria, Bansud and Bongabong followed quickly. As of December 1981, ORMECO II served 6 out of 9 municipalities and 64 out of 181 barangay and was to boast of an accomplishment of 5,670 house connections. When the most tragic test happened to ORMECO II, this achievements did not last long. This made the coop financially unviable due to its incurred huge loans from its reconstruction efforts that were washed by the successive typhoons.
POWER GENERATION AND DEVELOPMENT
Initially there were two (2) power plants operating and supplying the areas of Calapan and Naujan. On January 24, 1974 an inventory group from NEA’s Special Operation Task Group came for the inventory of the Calapan and Naujan electric plants in preparation for the planned takeover of both system as decreed from P.D No. 40, LO1 No. 38 and P.D 269 dated August 16, 1973. Later on, ORMECO took over the facilities of Naujan Electric with a 100 KW capacity and Calapan Electric Company, a company owned by the encarnacion family which has a generating capacity of 972 KW. Later on, the construction of the Calapan Diesel Power Plant then followed, two generating sets of French engine was installed. One of which has a 5.5 MW capacity and the other has 3.5 MW capacity.
After the backbone system and distribution lines were constructed, RMECO I ventured into the construction of an alternative power source to provide a reliable and affordable and also to accommodate its growing consumer base. An 18KW mini-hydro power plant in baco was constructed and tested in October 23, 1978. Plans for the construction of a mini-hydro with total rated capacity of 1600 Kw at Paitan, Naujan was hatched. After nine (9) years of waiting, this power plant was put in operation. But the demand for supply of electricity continuously grows. This fast growth in demand overloaded the generating units presently connected to the grid. As a solution to the problem, the Nation Power Corporation sent the 14.4MW power barge (PB106) to Calapan from Pagadian City. These power plants including an additional 7.2MW, also from NPC, eventually sufficed the power demand of the cooperative for a considerable period of time.
On August 27, 2000, power barge 104 of NPC arrived and settled in Minolo Cove, Pto. Galera. This 32 MW power barge is intended to replace PB 106 (14.4MW) to augment the fast growing demand of electricity in the province. Towards the end of the year, power-barge (PB 104), was further replaced by PB 102. This power-barge, though with the same capacity, is comparatively operating on a higher efficiency.
On May 8, 2000, the MOA between ORMECO & SEMI last May 2000, one unit equivalent to 3.75 MW power plant was put in operation on December 15, 2000. The second unit then followed after months of constructing and testing.
ORMECO continued its coordination with different producers and suppliers of power to invest in the province to ensure the reliability in the supply of electricity. The ORMECO signed a power contract with the IPP named Power One Corporation. The POC will be implementing a long-term power solution to the province of Oriental Mindoro. They are now on the 1st phase of their project the rehabilitation of the Calapan Diesel power plant of the National Power Corporation. Moreover, after four (4) months of rehabilitation, the CDPP will give additional power supply to the province.
DISTRIBUTION OF POWER AND TECHNILOGY
Electrification programs of ORMECO starts with the symbolic pole erection at Simaron, Calapan Or. Mindoro on November 4, 1975. Construction of distribution lines and backbone system of the five covered town’s immediately followed. On August 22, 1976, the town of Baco was energized, while the town of Victoria benefited light on September 12, 1976 as a birthday gift to then President Ferdinand E. Marcos Finally, on February 21, 1977, the town of San teodoro was energized,it being the last unenergized town in ORMECO’s coverage area. On April 12, 1977, the first membership meeting was held in the newly built coop headquarters at Simaron, Calapan. In the course of the meeting the town of Puerto galera was included as an additional coop area. Barely eight months after its inclusion, ORMECO shed light to Pto Galera Poblacion by force accounts, at this points, ORMECO intensified its electrification program targeting the level of barangay as the next priority as per mandate of NEA. But as the number of house connection increases corresponding increase in line losses due to lengthened distribution lines arises, after ORMECO I & II merged, the almost doubled length of distribution lines added much to the technical losses and the need for a stable and higher level of voltage on the distribution particularly in Naujan and Victoria was badly needed. To remedy this under-voltage problem during peak load hours, ORMECO constricted and opened the 3 x 8333 KVA transformer at Naujan substation on July 15, 1998 and was further increased to 2.5 MVA four months thereafter.
On November 4, 1998 newly-appointed NEA Administrator Conrado M. Estrella, III with Deputy Administrator for Finance, Loans and Accounts Management Manuel Luis Sanchez visited ORMECO and graced the first pole erection at Santo niño, Naujan and San Rafael Roxas to signal the construction of line in the said barangay and because of impressive performance and good financial standing during the year, the year 1999 started with series of constructions to still un-energized barangay. The funds of which came from the 5% re-investment fund, OECF loans and government subsidies.
Again this born in construction that caused frequent overloading triggered for replacement of 2.5 MVA transformer at Naujan Substation by 5 MVA transformer. *Technology *Year 2000 is another year of challenge to ORMECO especially in latest technology that was brought about by the globalization. Early this year, ORMECO has acquired this automated Mapping-Facilities Management – Geographical Information System (AM/FM/GIS). Though it would take time before the completion of the project. This computer-based system of technology would ensure faster delivery of services especially in facilitating and troubleshooting technical problem encountered in the distribution system.
*Funding from Concerned Sectors *a total of P9.65 million from cdf of Cong. Leviste was awarded to ORMECO on June 28, 2000. This was followed by an amount equivalent to P0.63 million from Mayor Arnan C. Panaligan of Calapan City. This is for the sole purpose of electrification of still un-energized barangay and sitios in the coverage area.
The private sector also did their share in the electrification program. Just before the end of the year on December 28, 2000 – a MOA for energization of sixty (60) barangay was signed. This project under the flagship of the then Pres. Joseph Estrada “O-ILAW PROGRAM”, was executed by DEO, NEA, NPC, KEPCO & ORMECO. Present during the signing were: Energy Secretary Mario V. Tiaoqui; Aida C. Pujanes – Special Assistant (DOE); and NPC SVP – Asiscio T. Gonzaga. P37 million was funded by Mirant Philippines (formerly SEMI) for the electrification of P29 additional barangay. For the purpose. A MOA was executed by DOE, ORMECO. Local government officials of OR. Mindoro and Mirant Philippines. Signing was done on July 25, 2001 at PNOC Bldg. & Energy Center, Fort Bonifacio. *The President’s Visit *Last October 3, 2001, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo visited the municipality of Gloria for “ceremonial switching” of six (6) barangay in the said area. She was accompanied by Vincent S. Perez – Energy Secretary, and Francisco G, Silva – NEA Administrator, in reassuring the unwavering support of her administration in the province.
An event, which should not escape into the history of ORMECO are the hardships and test it had surpassed. Those experiences that almost unmake ORMECO are now the gauge of its success. One of the most devastating of which, is the typhoon Dinang. This typhoon struck and flattened most of the distribution and backbone lines of both ORMECO on December 26, 1987. From the ruins of the calamity, both coops slowly rebuilt themselves. However during the year of rebuilding, successive typhoons struck the province that destroyed most what has been rebuilt during from the damages of the previous typhoons. In 1986, typhoon herming, the strongest typhoon to hit the province delivered the greatest damage and left both coops in ruins. To remedy the situation, the National Electrification Administration stepped in and mandated that before the reconstruction loans be approve. ORMECO I & II must merge. However, as precondition to the National Power Corporation. Also, during this time that President Corazon C. Aquino assumed power and mandated that the price of electricity be lowered down to P2.50 per kilowatt-hour. But since ORMECO I was handling its power generation and supplying the electricity requirements of ORMECO II, it could not subsidize the losses that would be incurred in lowering the price of electricity. Finally, May 20, 1988 ORMECO I & II merged and from there on were simply known as ORMECO. On June 18, 1988 the National Power Corporation took over the Calapan Diesel Power Plant and the power generation for ORMECO.
It seemed that ORMECO was well on its way to total recovery when another typhoon struck last December 1993, causing massive floods and great damage to ORMECO’s distribution and backbone lines. The flash buried the 16-megawatts Dulangan River Mini-Hydro at Paitan, Naujan under several meters of mud and soil the only power plant owned by ORMECO. Rebuilding efforts were once again conducted when an intensity 7.1 earthquake struck the province on November 15, 1994. The quake caused large-scale brown outs because the generating units at Calapan Diesel Power Plant were damaged; the 7.2 megawatts Power Barge moored at Wawa River was carried 2 kilometres inland by tsunamis. ORMECO was once again left in ruins.
This however did not deter ORMECO to rebuild itself once again. Barely a year after the earthquake, ORMECO operation was almost back to normal. Just recently, ORMECO was devastated by typhoon Nanang. This typhoon that caused a P3.7 million loss and damage affected much the operation of ORMECO. And now, it counts as another trial it has survived.