DOE assures steady power supply on election day, entire week
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Friday, May 10th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Energy (DOE) on Friday assured there will be enough power supply during the conduct of the midterm elections on May 13.
DOE spokesperson Undersecretary Wimpy Fuentebella said at a press briefing that a task force election has already been activated since February to ensure stable, uninterrupted and reliable energy supply before, during and after elections.
The task force, created under Department Circular No. DC2018-05-0014, has eight members including the National Electrification Administration (NEA), National Power Corporation (Napocor), National Transmission Corporation, Philippine National Oil Company, Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation, Philippine Electricity Market Corporation, National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), and the Manila Electric Company (Meralco). Six other supporting organizations are also onboard.
Although measures on energy supply have already been laid out, the DOE said, the energy sector will continue to keep a tight watch in case of power fluctuations during the election day.
“Ina-assure po natin ang ating mga kababayan that the energy family is working 24/7 not only for monitoring but we’ve also deployed our personnel to make sure na yung mga kuryente galing sa planta papunta sa mga polling places at sa mga canvassing stations ay magkakaroon ng sapat na kuryente,” Fuentebella said.
The DOE is also set to open a command center in its headquarters in Taguig City to receive reports and complaints on the power supply, ensuring immediate power restoration in case of outages.
Meralco, for its part, prepared 300 flood lights and generator sets to be used in polling precincts in case of power interruption. At least 300 linemen will also be deployed to inspect Meralco’s power facilities.
Meralco also inspected the electrical wiring and other facilities in voting and canvassing centers.
“We’re actually 100 percent complete in terms of inspecting ‘yung mga facilites ng Meralco especially those serving the polling and canvassing centers,” said Primo Alonzo, head of Meralco’s Energy Management.
The NGCP, meanwhile, assured to monitor the power supply situation in case yellow and red alert notices will be issued over the Luzon grid.
“In case na mayroong disturbance na mangyayari, na hopefully ay wala, mayroon kaming naka-deploy na resources, tao, tsaka available na equipment, to mobilize doon sa site para ma-minimize yung disturbance,” said Santiago Dimaliwat, Vice President and Head of NGCP systems operations.
NEA, on the other hand, told provincial electric cooperatives to defer any power plant preventive maintenance works to avoid power interruptions in their franchise areas.
“We have also advised the electric cooperatives not to conduct preventive maintenance a week before and after the elections in order to ensure continuous power sa kanilang franchise areas,” said Artis Nikki Tortola, NEA Deputy Administrator.
In case a power interruption is inevitable, the energy sector said, polling centers will be spared from manual load dropping to ensure that polling and counting of votes will not be disrupted. (with details from Joan Nano)
by Aileen Cerrudo | Posted on Thursday, June 27th, 2019
The Department of Energy (DOE) said it will push through with implementing Department Circular (DC) 2019-05-0008 which mandates oil companies to unbundle its fuel cost.
“Based on legal procedure, the department circular will take effect since the court is yet to decide on the petition,” according to Energy Assistant Secretary Robert Uy on Tuesday (June 25).
Through fuel unbundling the public will be informed on how much an oil company pays for cost of import, freight, refining, storage, taxes as well as the profit they make.
This will keep oil prices in check to see if there are any abuses being committed in the implementation of price changes.
Several oil companies have already expressed their opposition against the DOE circular because it will eventually lead to oil price regulation.
“While the DOE’s mandate is to monitor oil price movements, we believe that the circular leads the industry back to the path of regulation,” their statement reads.
The Philippine Institute of Petroleum Inc. (PIP) has already filed a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the implementation of the DOE circular.
At present, the Oil Deregulation Law prohibits the government from controlling oil prices. However the DOE does not share the same sentiment.
According to DOE Asec. Leonido Pulido III, the Oil Deregulation Law has an expressed provision in section 15. This gives the secretary of energy the authority to ask oil companies to provide information on oil prices.
“Ito ang disenyo ng batas para makapagbigay po ng mga rekomendasyon ang Department of Energy sa Kongreso ukol sa pagbabago o pag-amyenda sa ating mga batas regarding oil prices, (This is the law’s design so that the Department of Energy can provide recommendation to Congress on how to amend laws regarding oil prices),” he said.
Meanwhile, Laban Konsyumer President Vic Dimagiba said it is the public’s right to know how oil companies determine oil prices.
“Wala naman sila dapat itago, nire-report din nila ang kanilang profit sa SEC at sa stocks exchange. Huwag naman sana magkatotoo na ang presyo ng produktong petrolyo, masasabi nating ‘overpriced’ (They should have nothing to hide, they report their profit to the SEC and stocks exchange anyway. I hope there won’t come a time when oil will be deemed overpriced),” he said.
There will be a hearing on July 2 regarding the petition of oil companies to halt DOE’s circular on fuel unbundling.—AAC (with reports from Mon Jocson)
by Marje Pelayo | Posted on Thursday, May 23rd, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday (May 22) officially proclaimed 51 party-list organizations that won a seat in the House of Representatives (HOR) in this year’s midterm elections.
Frontrunners in the party-list elections is the Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS).
ACT-CIS, along with Bayan Muna, secured three seats on the 18th Congress.
Six organizations – Ako Bicol; CIBAC; Ang Probinsiyano; 1Pacman; and Probinsyano Ako – got two seats each.
Meanwhile, 43 groups got one seat each and they are the following:
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