MANILA – To grant President Aquino’s emergency powers in addressing the looming power crisis next year, the senate is expected to approve the joint resolution this month.
“We will work to finish this before the end of October so that the President would be given the power and the DOE (Department of Energy) could buy or rent the generating sets to provide the necessary power supply from March to July of next year,” said Senate President Franklin Drilon.
He also added that the approval would entail a lot of funds from the government while sharing his reservation on the proposal.
A joint resolution working on the approval of Aquino’s emergency powers is lead by Sen. Sergio Osmena III, head of the Senate committee on energy.
Drilon pointed out that granting the President’s emergency powers would cover for the shortfall of 300 megawatts in March and April adding that the estimates of the Department of Energy reached a total shortfall as high as 800 MW.
The senator also added that they are expecting to help reduce the shortfall by generating more resources from the Malaya geothermal plant in Rizal and other businesses who committed to help through the interruptible load program (ILP).
The ILP will seek the help of private companies, big commercial establishments such as malls to have their generator sets operated at certain periods.
This step is to lower the demand of electricity on distributors including the Manila Electric Co.
Despite the positive response from the Senate, Drilon, however, is not convinced with the proposal of the DOE, particularly on the need to purchase or lease generator sets.
Meanwhile, Osmeña said that the government must trust the representatives of big businesses who earlier pledged their commitment to the ILP.
“Secretary Petilla has been saying ‘I don’t believe them.’ But there are certain times that you must take people’s word for it; that they won’t suck up a huge chunk of power from Meralco,” he said.