Palace hopes Congress would immediately pass law allowing Aquino to address power shortage

By on December 13, 2014


President Aquino arrives in the Philippines after his successful participation in the 25th ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit. (Malacanang Photo Bureau)
President Aquino arrives in the Philippines after his successful participation in the 25th ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit. (Malacanang Photo Bureau)

MANILA — The Palace said Friday it hopes Congress would soon come up with a legislation aimed at addressing the looming power shortage in Luzon in the summer months of next year.

Commenting on reports that a senator does not see the urgency of passing the legislation, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the Palace is hopeful that Congress could provide a solution to the impending power crisis by reconciling resolutions from both the House or Representatives and the Senate.

Malacañang has certified the legislation as urgent, asking for special powers for the President to effectively come up with a remedy to the possible power shortage.

“Again, the most expensive power is no power. If there is no power, it affects the economy; it affects the convenience of the consumers,” Lacierda said during the daily press briefing.

“What we are trying to do is come up with the solution with the safeguards in mind. I am certain that safeguards will be provided to make sure that we are able to address the power situation in 2015.”

The statement of some lawmakers are all speculations at this time, he said, adding however that the government is mindful of how to address the situation and how to best safeguard the people’s interests.

“At the end of the day, ang mahalaga rito is how do we address the power situation, the potential power outage in 2015,” he said.

Senator Sergio Osmeña III, chair of the Senate energy committee, said on Thursday that there is no need to pass this year a Senate resolution granting President Aquino emergency powers to avert next year’s projected power shortage.

Osmeña said he has yet to study House Joint Resolution No. 21, granting the President powers to facilitate the “expeditious acquisition” of additional power-generating capacities.

Experts put the power shortage in the Luzon grid from March to July next year at 1,004 megawatts.

Under the House resolution, the Interruptible Load Program, fast-tracking committed projects, and plants for interconnection and rehabilitation could provide the additional generating capacity for Luzon.