MANILA – For Energy Secretary Carlos Petilla, renting power generators might be the only way to avert power shortages next year.
As time runs out for the government to find other ways to solve the upcoming power shortage, Petilla reiterated Malacañang’s call for the Congress to allow the government to rent power generators, during a forum attended by businessmen and consumers on Tuesday at the Hotel Rembrandt in Quezon City.
The forum was participated by about 100 representatives of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Federation of Philippine Industries, Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines and 16 consumer organizations including labor groups.
Under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act the government is disengaged from the power generation business.
The act, which was enacted in 2001, also requires the privatization of state-owned power plants and other assets.
Section 71 of the law, however, states that the President may be authorized by the Congress to establish additional generating capacity when an imminent power supply shortage is determined by the government.
Earlier this month, the President already determined a projected energy deficit of 300 MW to 1,000 MW in summer next year.
This projection was already submitted and is pending under the legislature.
“Prospective suppliers had set a ‘deadline’ of Sept. 30, which was originally Aug. 31,” Petilla said.
“We are considering, through PSALM (state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp.), to rent or buy as much as 600 megawatts in generation capacity,” Petilla said.
Petilla further stressed the need to rent power generators adding that it may be the only option that the government has to avoid power shortage.
“We have a shortfall and the options that we have are to buy or rent generating sets,” Petilla said. “Either way we need Congress to push for this.”