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Rogelio Lazo Singson, industrial engineer, businessman and public servant, currently serves as senior vice president for Manila Electric Co. (Meralco).

He was born on 16 September 1948 in Ilocos Sur and obtained higher education in the capital.

If you want sustainable power, you have to encourage new plants, you cannot allow price to be the only point of contention

Singson received a degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of the Philippines and afterward attended a master’s program in Public and Business Management from the De La Salle University.

And it was his training on public-private sector partnership, privatization and build-operate-transfer schemes abroad that contributed to the shaping of the hat he now wears.

Before taking the seat as senior vice president for Meralco, he worked as Secretary for the Department of Public Works and Highways under the previous administration, from 2010 to 2016. It was during his term that the agency earned praise for a positive change in its image, the result of efforts towards efficient management.

According to the Surveys of Enterprises on Corruption by the Social Weather Stations, the DPWH’s percentage index improved from -65 percent in 2009 to -21 percent in 2012 within two years under Singson’s term.

Prior to his DPWH appointment, he was also incumbent president and chief executive officer for Maynilad after it was reprivatized, from July 2007 to June 2010.

He is equipped with experience in both the government and private sector, specifically in the areas of privatization and public-private partnership, toll roads and expressways management, water and power utility privatization, as well as airports, seaports, and resorts, an official profile of him reads.

A brief view of his background tells that Singson is a public servant readily providing solutions, a quality that perhaps his expertise in engineering taught him well. In an interview with the Daily Tribune, Singson shared his insights on the daily battle of holding a seat in the government.

On dealing with the government’s mindset for initiatives in the Public Works department, he said: “I’ve been in DPWH for six years, that has been an uphill battle every day dealing with Congress, dealing with hearings, dealing with the Commission on Audit, dealing with the Ombudsman.”

“You get drained also. You’re still a human being that you need time with your family, time for yourself. You lose all of that liberty. You lose all that privacy.”

After the daily grind of government work, Singson’s focus now is in ensuring the steady supply of energy and lighting the infrastructure he had a hand in putting up.

For one, while Singson is all for the availability of necessities such as water and power, he said that the long-term viability of power plants is another crucial matter altogether.

“If you want sustainable power, you have to encourage new plants. You cannot allow price to be the only point of contention. Yes, this one wins against price, but what about next year? What about the next five years? You don’t have a new plant, and you are back to your situation in 1987,” he said, referring to the power crisis during the year.

Under rules by the Energy Regulatory Commission, Meralco is required to purchase the cheapest energy as part of a competitive selection process. Singson called for more explicit rules defining whether old plants and new plants could be separated in the process, as competing with old plants prove to be harder, owing to its cheaper price due to depreciation.

While the company is undergoing delay with its power supply agreements for the construction of power generation projects with the ERC, Singson remains steadfast in looking for solutions for the energy sector.

Meralco’s subsidiary, Meralco PowerGen Corp. (MGen) remains committed in developing a portfolio of projects using high-efficiency, low–emission technology to primarily supply Meralco’s franchise areas with low-cost electricity and to take environmental stewardship to another form.

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