BARE ADDED COST OF EMERGENCY POWERS FOR PNOY
• September 24, 2014
• Written by Ryan Ponce Pacpaco
• Published in Top Stories
HOUSE independent bloc leader and Leyte (1st District) Rep. Ferdinand Martin “FM” G. Romualdez yesterday challenged Energy Sec. Jericho Petilla to disclose the additional cost that consumers would be paying should Congress grant emergency powers to President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III in order to address the expected electricity shortage in 2015. Romualdez, a lawyer and president of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa), said the people are at the losing end as they will be paying billions of pesos as a result of the contracts that the President may enter in buying additional electricity.
“The Department of Energy should admit now how much a poor citizen will spend in addressing the supposed electricity shortage through emergency powers. This is the very important thing here, because it is about economics and the people are already overburdened,” said Romualdez as the House leadership is scheduled to submit tomorrow the joint resolution for emergency powers to be referred immediately to the House committee on energy headed by Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali.
House Majority Leader and Mandaluyong City Rep. Neptali “Boyet” Gonzales II said the DoE should set the clear parameters in pushing for the emergency powers.
“I think on or before Thursday, we have to file the joint resolution and it will be referred to the proper committee. During the coming break, they can meet,” Gonzales told reporters during yesterday’s regular news forum.
“When they asked for the approval of resolution this September at this point is a wishful thinking. We are so preoccupied with the budget. I don’t suppose that even if the committee would meet this week, it has enough time to take it up to get a general agreement and to report out anything before we go on break on Friday,” Gonzales said.
Romualdez reiterated that Petilla should adequately support his recommendation for emergency powers because Congress will be blamed if there would be no electricity shortage next year and affected consumers will be made to pay the huge amount for additional electricity.
“This is a very serious matter that Congress should address with caution. Congress should not heap the blame should the alleged electricity shortage does not happen and people will pay the additional contracted electricity,” said Romualdez.
Earlier, Romualdez and Gonzales agreed on the need for the DoE to look for alternative sources of energy instead of making people pay billions of pesos in granting emergency powers to President Aquino. Romualdez and Gonzales said Petilla should explore other options to deal with the purported electricity shortage to spare the affected consumers from paying P6billion for 300 megawatts (MW) of contracted electricity under the proposed emergency powers for the President.
Aside from other energy sources, Romualdez pointed out the need for the government to make an “intense campaign for energy conservation to help avert the alleged electricity shortage.”
Petilla argued that the government plans to address the 300 MW projected deficit for next year and additionally generate another 300 MW in power reserves.