MANILA—The Department of Energy (DOE) should not “beg” power plants to schedule maintenance shutdowns, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said Wednesday noting that the agency needed more teeth to enforce rules.
“DOE needs the legislation to give it more teeth, meaning dapat wala nang pakiusap, more on reinforcement dapat para di tayo mawalan ng kuryente (meaning they shouldn’t beg, it should be more on reinforcement so that we don’t lose electricity). Then we can propose one,” Gatchalian said in a Senate hearing.
Gatchalian, chair of the Senate Committee on Energy, found it “incredulous” how previous Energy Secretaries had to beg power plants to schedule their maintenance shutdowns.
He stressed that planning is crucial in preventing power outages during maintenance shutdowns.
While a proposed legislation is not yet in place, Gatchalian said that he would make it a point to propose a bill to prevent simultaneous shutdowns in the future.
The neophyte senator also expressed his concern in plans to publicize the maintenance shutdown schedule.
“Ang ayaw natin dito magkaroon ng info and use that information to collude (We don’t want the information to be used to collude). Then again, we have to study the implications,” the Senator said.
Gatchalian proposed that the powers of the DOE Secretary should compel certain actions, including preventing the curtailment of power.
However, he noted that some of the contracts have a mandated shutdown due to financial commitments.