Palace remains hopeful Senate will also address impending power crisis

By , on December 13, 2014

Senate of the Philippines. Photo courtesy of
Senate of the Philippines. Photo courtesy of

MANILA – Malacanang remains hopeful that the Senate will come out with the same interest that the Executive department is pushing to address the impending power crisis in the summer of 2015, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said on Friday.

Lacierda made this reaction after Senate Committee on Energy chairman Senator Serge Osmena III said there is no rush to pass the Malacanang-certified House Joint Resolution No. 21 authorizing President Benigno Aquino III to establish power generating capacity in anticipation of a power shortage next year.

”Well, President Aquino has already certified it as urgent. So we will hope that the Senate will also look into it in a way that would address the situation,” Lacierda said in a press briefing.

”As to the timetable, hopefully it will be early enough to address whatever concerns that we have in 2015. But I know there is no timetable for that. We will leave it with the Senate,” he added.

The House of Representatives has approved on second and third readings the Joint Resolution but Osmena said he will study it first before coming out with a committee report.

Osmena has said there is no need for special powers to establish additional generating capacities.

The Cebu senator, however, is in favor of granting the President a special authority to use the Malampaya funds as subsidy for participants of the interruptible load program (ILP).

”Senator Osmena, while he may differ with Secretary (Jericho) Petilla, has also the best interest – has the interest of the Filipino in mind,” Lacierda said.

He said whatever Osmena will say on the proposed special authority for the President, “all this will be taken into consideration.”

”But, again, Senator Osmena, I am very certain, is looking at the best solution also that would best address the situation. We’ll leave it with the House and the Senate to come up with an answer to address the power situation,” Lacierda said.

Lacierda emphasized the importance of addressing the impending power shortage, saying “the most expensive power is no power.”

”If there is no power, it affects the economy; it affects the convenience of the consumers. 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,” he said.

Petilla has predicted that the power shortage in the summer of 2015 could reach to 750 megawatts.