MANILA — Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla stands firm that the fight for the power supply security for summer 2015 will continue, despite the nearing deadline for the House of Representatives’ ground rules on additional contracting capacity.
“I’d rather have it and work with it, than just surrender and say we can’t do anything anymore,” Petilla said Friday at his office in Bonifacio Global City (BGC), Taguig City.
But, the secretary explained that some people were discouraging him to continue with the invoking of the section 71 of Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), through contracting capacity, with others pointing out the move was too late.
He stressed that the Department of Energy (DOE) will not just give up on the fight for the additional 300 Megawatts (MWs). However, he stated that the submission of the proposal is dependent on the passing of his accomplished recommendation already submitted by Malacanang to the House of Representatives.
“The submission date is beyond me, I don’t want to pre-empt Malacanang,” Petilla said.
Moreover, he pointed out that Congress giving out their final plans by next month will rather be too late.
Under the DOE’s recommendation, the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) will be allowed by the Congress to contract additional capacity for the impending reserve shortfall.
For this time, the government office is looking into the tapping of imported capacity, which will take approximately six months to install.
Currently, two foreign companies are having talks for the deal, with an offer of 6 Billion for the needed 300 MWs. It will be under PSALM’s command for two years.
Petilla also mentioned that the government will subsidize most of the cost for the power plant rental, through the utilization of the Malampaya funds.
“I will assure you, it’s not going to be free, but all of the cost will not be charged to the public,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) will still be activated for the next summer.
However, Petilla said that the ILP’s will not be mandatory under the resolution, adding it will be scary if they are forced by the government to comply.