PNoy wants emergency powers to address power crisis

By , on September 12, 2014


President Benigno S. Aquino III greets his Cabinet members during the send-off ceremony at the Departure Area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal II in Pasay City on Saturday (May 10) to join fellow Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Leaders at the 24th ASEAN Summit in Nay Pyi Taw, Republic of the Union of Myanmar. “Moving Forward in Unity to a Peaceful and Prosperous Community” is the theme for this year’s ASEAN Summit, highlighting the importance of a united ASEAN. (Photo by Lauro Montellano, Jr. / Malacañang Photo Bureau)
President Benigno S. Aquino III greets his Cabinet members during the send-off ceremony at the Departure Area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal II in Pasay City on Saturday (May 10) to join fellow Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Leaders at the 24th ASEAN Summit in Nay Pyi Taw, Republic of the Union of Myanmar. “Moving Forward in Unity to a Peaceful and Prosperous Community” is the theme for this year’s ASEAN Summit, highlighting the importance of a united ASEAN. (Photo by Lauro Montellano, Jr. / Malacañang Photo Bureau)

MANILA – To address the looming power outages in 2015, President Aquino said he would seek a joint congress resolution to allow the government to “contract” additional power generating capacity.

“To be more efficient and impactful in our efforts, very soon, we will formally ask Congress for a joint resolution, that will authorize the national government to contract an additional generating capacity to address the 300-megawatt projected deficit, and, on top of that, to have sufficient regulating reserves equivalent to 4 percent of peak demand, for another 300 megawatts,” he said in a speech during the launching of the Pagbilao III power plant project in Makati on Thursday

Amid the growing concerns of the private sector against the effects of using his emergency power, the president assured them that “government intervention will be focused solely on addressing the projected shortage.”

“We have no plans of intervening to distort the market or complicate the situation even further,” he said, echoing Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla’s proposal mentioned during his speech in the 2014 State of the Nation (Sona) technical report.

The report indicated an estimated total of 400 MW to 1,000 MW energy shortage in Luzon from March to May 2015.

Given this, Petilla proposed to the President that he invoke Section 71 of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) of 2001 also known as the “electric power crisis provision.”

Invoking Section 71 would mean that the Congress could allow the “establishment of additional generating capacity under such terms and conditions as it may approve.”

“After all, we know that it is only through the government and the private sector working together that the Philippine energy sector can realize its full potential—that together, we can find solutions now, and address existing issues once and for all.”