Lawmakers urge Malacanang to declare power crisis

By , on May 22, 2014

ShutterStock image
ShutterStock image

While Malacanang remains silent on the issue, some lawmakers are already urging the President to declare a power crisis after the recent power outage and system shutdowns reported in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

“I don’t think that’s the mindset of the President, to declare that there’s a power crisis,” he said. “Acknowledging the crisis is already part of the solution. These are problems that they cannot deny and things could get worse with such a stance,” Abakada-Guro Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz told reporters.

He also added that Malacanang is denying the existence of a power crisis despite the fact that rotating blackouts reported in Mindanao have reached Metro Manila.

Other members of the independent bloc in the House of Representatives are also urging the President to declare “power crisis” saying that denials will only lead to more blackouts.

“We want to hear it straight from them: Are we in a power crisis or not?” Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Romualdez, leader of the independent bloc, said in an interview for the Phiippine Star, adding that they will be inviting officials of the Department of Energy (DOE), National Power Corp. (Napocor), and NGCP to the House Question Hour in order find out the actual status of power supply nationwide.

“More importantly, we want to find out what makes it seemingly impossible for the government to solve the power crisis in Mindanao and to eliminate blackouts nationwide.” Romualdez added.

Visayas grid remains on red alert 

After the alert was raised last Monday, Visayas grid remained on red alert yesterday because of zero reserves caused by the scheduled shutdown of three power plants.

Cebu Energy Development Corp.’s Cebu facility, Panay Energy Development Corp.’s Iloilo unit, and Energy Development Corp.’s Leyte facility are among those three units who went on a scheduled shutdown and are expected to be back online this week.

With only 1,477 megawatts system capacity on Tuesday, the National Grid Corporation (NGCP) said they fall short for the peak demand of 1,522 MW leading to a power outage of less than an hour in some parts of Cebu starting at 1:20 in the afternoon.

When power is rationed, manual load dropping or the process that power distributors implement when supply is insufficient took 20 to 30 according to an NGCP source.

The Visayas grid has zero reserves because three power plants went on scheduled shutdown. These are To address the problem, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said the Luzon grid will be supporting the current insufficiencies in the Visayas grid adding that the Sual plant, a unit which turned offline Thusday night is back online and the Caliraya hydropower plant can also be used.

This is despite the fact that Luzon grid was also placed on red alert last Friday after Pagbilao plant in Quezon province broke down because of a valve problem.

With Reports from Iris Gonzales