No emergency powers for PNoy

By , on March 19, 2015

President Benigno S. Aquino III presides over the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board Meeting at the Aguinaldo State Dining Room of the Malacañan Palace on Monday (February 16, 2015). (Photo by Rey Baniquet / Malacañang Photo Bureau / PCOO)
President Benigno S. Aquino III (Photo by Rey Baniquet / Malacañang Photo Bureau / PCOO)

MANILA– The chairman of the House Committee on Energy admitted on Wednesday that no additional power for President Aquino to address the expected power shortage during summer.

The panel chairman and Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali said he had done his part but no one among the two Houses of Congress wanted to give in.

“I have talked to my colleagues and the House leadership if we can bargain some provisions but the decision is final that we need to stand on our version,” Umali told reporters in a chance interview.

His Senate counterpart, led by Senator Sergio Osmena III, also stood path to their version and had not schedule for another Bicameral Conference committee. Congress is schedule to go on a traditional Lenten break starting tomorrow [March 19] and be back on May 4.

The House members are strongly pushing for the no-pass on scheme in using the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) as it is eyeing to tap the Malampaya funds as subsidy.

“We may approve it but we cannot ratify it at the floor because of the upcoming break,” Umali told reporters.

The Senate said the adoption of the ILP scheme would cost consumers Php 7 to Php 8 per kilowatt-hour under its version of the emergency powers.

On the time frame, the Senate still wants the special powers to be extended until July 2016 while the House only wants it from March to July of this year.

Both chambers want the government to mainly use the ILP in generating additional power capacity during these dry months.

He added that with the non-passage of the measure, any increases of power rates will be shoulder by the end consumers under EPIRA Law.