Osmena wants to study House-approved joint resolution on emergency powers

By , on December 12, 2014

Sen. Serge Osmena III (www.senate.gov.ph)
Sen. Serge Osmena III (www.senate.gov.ph)

MANILA – Senate committee on energy chairman Sen. Serge Osmena III on Thursday said he will study first the House of Representatives-approved Joint Resolution granting President Benigno Aquino special authority to address the impending power shortage in the summer of 2015.

”I will have to study what the House has passed in order to be able to explain to them why certain things that they may have inadvertently placed in the resolution are not really necessary for the ILP (interruptible load program) to be a success,” Osmena said in media interview.

Osmena believed that the President has certified as urgent the joint resolution “because the President is being misled” by the people who do not know power.

”The President is being misled. He does not really know power, so he relies on people who don’t know power either,” Osmena said, without naming names.

Last Wednesday, the House approved on second and third readings the Joint Resolution No. 21 granting the President the authority to establish additional generating capacity to ensure the energy requirements specifically the hottest months of March and April next year.

Osmena, however, believe that the government can raise 1,600-megawatt reserve without establishing new generating power generating capacity.

The senator said the Senate resolution will also give powers to the President but only authority to use Malampaya funds as subsidy to ILP participants, and to exempt from the Biofuels Act the natural gas plant of Korean Electric Power Cooperative (KEPCO).

Earlier, Osmena said KEPCO has expressed commitment to supply 500mw of the expected 750mw power shortage in the Luzon grid from March 15 to April 18.

He also received words from operators of hydropower plants that they can produce 300mw “plus another 300mw from Malaya plant “the moment it is fully repaired.”

”In the ILP alone, we can already access 1000mw. So all in all, I think we have a comfortable 1600w of reserve power on the hottest day of our year,” Osmena said.

Osmena said he will ask the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to exempt the hydro dams in Luzon from December to March from the must offer rule where the power producers are required to offer first their power to Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

The senator from Cebu said he has already informed Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla about the commitment of KEPCO to produce additional power of 500 to 650mw.

Osmena said he is not pressured to pass the joint resolution, saying “if the Senate did not pass it, we will still have the ILP in place.”

”The ILP don’t need special power. The ERC has already ILP in place in Cebu and Davao when they suffered brownouts in 2010. We did not ask for special power and money. It’s automatic,” he added.