Congress determined to give Aquino needed emergency power to address power shortage in 2015

By , on October 4, 2014

(Malacanang stock photo)
(Malacanang stock photo)

MANILA — Congress is determined to give President Benigno Aquino III the needed emergency power to address the expected shortage of electricity in the first semester of 2015, Senate President Franklin Drilon said Friday.

Drilon reminded the public that “We must recognize and accept the fact that we need additional generating capacity in order to avert looming power crisis in the summer of 2015.”

“Right now, we are looking at a shortage of 300 MW. There are about 475 MW from new power plants and from the repair of existing power plants. Another 275MW or so from private generating sets,” he said. “So, the shortfall we are looking at is approximately 300 MW. Ito po ang kailangan natin na gawaan ng paraan kung paano magkakaroon ng additional generating capacity [This is what we need to address to get the needed additional generating capacity].”

According to the Senate chief, the President has the authority under Section 71 of the EPIRA [Electric Power Industry Reform Act] Law to asked for emergency power to immediately act to abort possible power shortage.

The veteran lawmaker said he will recommend to the Joint Congressional hearing to give the President emergency power but on how long and to what extend — both houses of Congress will be the one to decide on it.

“Insofar as I am concerned as a senator, yes, I am in favor of giving the administration additional authority to secure additional generating capacity,” Drilon told reporters in a chance interview.

He said the Department of Energy right now is saying that the country needs 300 MW.

“If it is shown in the committee hearings that we can address it, so be it. It’s good. But we are just saying that there is a need to generate additional generating capacity of 300 MW,” he stressed.