Romualdez: Will there really be a power crisis in 2015?
• December 6, 2014
• Written by Jester P. Manalastas
• Published in Top Stories
THE House independent bloc led by Leyte (1st District) Rep. Martin G. Romualdez yesterday urged colleagues at the Lower House to carefully study if there would really be a power shortage next year and if the grant of emergency powers to President Benigno Aquino III will be the real solution. Romualdez still doubts the need for emergency powers to be granted to the President, which the energy officials said is one way to solve the looming power crisis in 2015.
Until now, Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla has not presented any “convincing piece of document” to support his alarmist warnings on a possible energy crisis.
“DoE and for that matter, Malacañang has not yet produced any basis, like a technical study or analysis, on why will there be an electricity crisis in 2015,” Romualdez said. “Or on how did they arrive at the maximum 1,004-megawatt shortage which the President himself warns against in the resolution. On the contrary, we all heard DoE officials admit in one of our hearings that there is no forthcoming electricity crisis,” he added.
The House of Representatives has started deliberating on the plenary the Joint Resolution No. 21 granting President Benigno Aquino III a special authority to allow government to establish additional generating capacity to resolve the looming power crisis.
Petilla earlier warned that consumers in Luzon will experience rotating brownouts during the summer months of 2015 due to the 1,004-megawatt shortage, of which 600 MW are needed as required dispatchable reserve, and 401 MW for required contingency reserves.
President Aquino, in a letter sent to Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. dated November 27, 2014, asked Congress for the “immediate” passage of the HJR 21 to “adequately resolve this emergency through the expeditious acquisition of additional power generating capacities to be used during the anticipated period of deficient energy supply.”
But Romualdez demanded an explanation from the Energy Department on how it came up with the maximum 1,004 MW shortage being pegged by the Energy Department.
“What is coming is only a thinning of reserves by a maximum of 30 plus megawatts, and not the 1,004 megawatts which Malacañang now claims in the resolution,” Romualdez said.
“In other words, the sole basis we know of the supposed forthcoming electricity crisis are only the words of President Aquino III and the DOE,” he added.
The Independent solons, like the people, wanted to know the truth of the looming power crisis.
The President earlier said “a critical energy situation will pose a tangible threat to the country’s developing economy and will hinder the delivery of basic social services to the detriment of the general welfare of the people.”
The House is expected to pass HJR 21 before Congress adjourns during the Holiday beginning December 19.
The joint resolution provides “additional generating capacity shall be sourced from the Interruptible Load Program (ILP), fast tracking of committed projects, and plants for interconnection and rehabilitation.”
Under the ILP program, malls, factories and other establishments will be allowed to use their own generator sets when the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines expects the supply of electricity to fall short of demand.