Interruptible Load Program, wala pang garantiya na makatutulong upang masolusyunan ang napipintong energy crisis – Sen. Recto

admin   •   October 15, 2014   •   2906

Senate President Pro tempore Ralph Recto (UNTV News)

MANILA, Philippines — Nakababahala ang ulat ng Department of Energy na nangangailangan ang Luzon ng 900 megawatts na kuryente at kung mabigong makuha ito ay magkakaroon ng energy crisis sa susunod na taon.

Ito ang naging pahayag ni Senate President Pro tempore Ralph Recto kaya suportado niya ang kahilingan ng punong ehekutibo na dagdag na kapangyarihan upang masolusyunan ang problema, dahil mahirap ang magkaroon ng power crisis.

Pinuna rin ni Recto ang Interruptible Load Program na ipinapanukalang opsyon ng ilan sa halip na emergency power dahil ayon sa senador, hindi pa ito nasusubukan sa mga nagdaang panahon na nagkaroon ng power crisis.

“Doon sa presentation, is anywehere from 900 worst case pwedeng 1500 megawatts na nakita ko,” saad ni Sen. Recto.

“Will the Interruptible Load Program work? I’m not sure if we have done that in the past, ‘di ako sigurado diyan,” dagdag nito.

Aminado rin naman si Department of Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla na hindi ito gaanong maasahan sa panahon ng power crisis dahil kailangang pang maki-usap ang pamahalaan sa mga pribadong kumpanya na paganahin ang kanilang mga generator sets.

“It’s still unreliable pero at the very least, kahit iyan man lang ibigay,” pahayag ni Sec. Petilla.

Sinabi ni Recto na nais din niyang marinig ang suhestyon ng Chairman ng Committee on Energy na si Senator Serge Osmena III na nagsusulong rin ng ILP.

Kung maaprubahan ng kongreso ang hinihinging dagdag kapangyarihan ni Pangulong Aquino, payag si Recto na gamitin ang Malampaya fund na nagkakahalaga ng 25 hanggang 30 bilyong piso. Ngunit kung di parin nito maresolba ang power crisis, inirerekomenda nitong amyendahan na ang Electric Power Industry Reform Act  o EPIRA law.

“The reason for Malampaya is for exploration ng ginawa ‘yan but nothing prevents congress in passing a law na pwedeng sabihin na pwedeng gamitin for this particular purpose. Nothing prevent us from doing that,” ani Recto.

Kahit ang Malacañang ay nagbigay din ng pahayag ukol dito.

“Hihintayin po natin kung ano ang nakasaad sa joint resolution dahil ang authority po sa pagkilos ng executive o ng pangulo ay ibabatay sa joint resolution ng kongreso,” saad ni PCOO Sec. Herminio Coloma Jr. (Bryan De Paz, UNTV News)

Suspension of fuel excise tax, detrimental to economic recovery — DOF

Maris Federez   •   October 28, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Finance (DOF) expressed before the House Committee on Energy its opposition to the proposed suspension of excise tax on petroleum products.

The DOF warned that suspending the imposition of excise tax on fuel will cost the government about Php131.4 billion in revenue for 2022 which, according to the agency, is detrimental to economic recovery.

“The unrealized public spending and the investments from the foregone revenues will also be detrimental to our economic recovery and long-term growth,” said DOF director Euvimil Nina Asuncion.

Asuncion said that providing a targeted subsidy to the transportation sector will be more equitable than removing all fuel excise taxes which may only subsidize the consumption of higher-income households.

The Department of Energy (DOE), however, estimated suspending the excise tax on petroleum products will lower pump prices by about Php8 to Php10 per liter.

“We specifically proposed the suspension of the excise tax because of the urgency in addressing the plight our kababayans,” said DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

House Committee on Energy chairperson Representative Juan Miguel Arroyo confirmed that he will push for the amendment of oil deregulation law and the suspension of the imposition of excise tax on fuel products. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

Pacquiao, Cusi face off in Senate; Gatchalian ousts Matibag from budget hearing

Maris Federez   •   October 21, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Finance Subcommittee hearing on the budget of the Department of Energy on Thursday went sour as Senator Manny Pacquiao took the floor to question DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

Pacquiao and Cusi are members of two opposing factions of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

In the committee hearing, Pacquiao asked Cusi about the alleged “tongpats” or markup in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

The lawmaker also questioned why the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEM-C) remains as a market operator despite the existence of the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP).

“Nakita natin kung paano sinindikato ang mga nasa kapangyarihan ang EPIRA law. Kung yung trabahong para sa isa ay ginawang dalawa kaya doble doble ang bayarin ng mga consumers,” Pacquiao said.

Cusi then explained that PEM-C still manages IEMOP which was created in 2018 as part of the transition stage.

The DOE official also denied the alleged corruption and insisted that they abide by the regulations set by the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA).

“Wala pong corruption. Bakit po ang capitalization ng IEMOP is only 7,000? Kasi nga non-profit, non-stock corporation […] Wala pong kinikita yan,” Cusi said.

“Ito pong sinasabing accusation na ganyan, masakit din po ano. And I hope it can be done outside the walls of Senate at kung may kailangan ikaso, ikaso,” he added.

Pacquiao also questioned the alleged relationship between Attorney Matibag who is the president and CEO of the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) and PEM-C, which Matibag himself answered.

“If Sen. Pacquiao only read the EPIRA Law, buo ang kwento nito eh. TRANSCO noon ang operator muna, bago nag PEM-C […] Wala na TransCo diyan. Alam niyo let’s call a spade a spade dito sa hearing na ‘to. This is all political, Sen. Pacquiao. Alam naman natin to, ito yung pinapasabi mo nung bago ka umalis eh. Na sinasabi mo meron kang pasabog,” Matibag said.

This resulted in a heated argument between Pacquiao and Matibag.

It was at this juncture that Senator Sherwin Gatchalian who chaired the committee stepped in and dismissed Matibag from the hearing.

“This is my committee and you have no right calling this hearing a political hearing. The senators are entitled to ask policy questions,” Gatchalian said.

“You’re out of order. You’re no longer recognized. We’ve given you a chance to answer the policy questions but instead, you insulted this committee by calling it a political hearing. Hindi naman fair ‘yon,” he added.

Pacquiao also slammed Matibag’s action.

“Bastos itong si Atty. Matibag eh. Sayang yung pagka-lawyer niya, eh parang walang pinag-aralan,” he said.

“Wag po kayong mainit, wag po kayo magagalit sa’kin katulad ng ginawa ni Atty. Matibag […] Nabastusan ako,” he continued.

Cusi, on the other hand, apologized on Matibag’s behalf.

“I have to apologize for the interaction if you were offended by Atty. Matibag. I have to make that apology considering that he comes from the DOE family, so my apologies,” he said.

The committee set another hearing for the budget of the other attached agencies of the DOE. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

DOE asks Congress to amend Oil Deregulation Law

Robie de Guzman   •   October 20, 2021

The Department of Energy (DOE) has called on Congress to amend provisions in the Oil Deregulation Law to allow the government to address oil price hikes amid high global demand and tight supply.

In a letter addressed to Senator Sherwin Gatchalian and Pampanga Representative Juan Miguel Arroyo, the DOE asked Congress to amend the law “to provide a framework for the government to intervene in the sudden, prolonged oil price spikes, including the unbundling of the cost of petroleum retail products to determine their true and passed-on costs.”

Gatchalian chairs the Senate Committee on Energy, while Arroyo heads the counterpart panel in the House of Representatives.

The DOE cited several reasons for the prolonged oil price spike amid continuing rise in world market prices resulting from the sudden global increase in demand and an unanticipated lack of supply.

It said that the demand, which is estimated at 103.22 million barrels a day (as of October 16, 2021 vs. a supply of 100.32 million barrels/day) is attributed to the following:

  • the surge of economic activities due to the containment of COVID-19 as a result of measures adopted and implemented worldwide (i.e. mass vaccination, control of the Delta and other variants, Europe’s “no-lockdown” policy, and China’s economic boost). This led to a sudden demand in energy utilization, including the demand on oil products in the transportation sector like gasoline and diesel;

 

  • the stocking of petroleum products’ inventories as winter approaches to cover demand from October this year to March of next year, with stocking expected until February 2021;

 

  • slowed production due to the current global direction of sourcing energy from low-carbon emitting sources. This has limited the optimum level of production, causing the halt and event withdrawal of investments in the development and expansion of the fossil fuel industry;

 

  • International sanctions to oil-producing countries like Iran and Venezuela that stopped the drilling of oil companies and the buying of oil products from these countries;

 

  • Hurricane Ida a category 4 storm that hit the US gulf coast on August 29 had caused an estimated loss of US crude oil production by as much as 30 million barrels.

 

Before the pandemic, the latest recorded total worldwide supply was, more or less, 104 barrels a day.

To cope-up with the supply, the DOE said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) committed to increase the production and supply of crude oil by 400,000 barrels/day.

The OPEC will meet on November 4 to discuss and reassess the situation.

The DOE said the Philippines utilizes the equivalent of 425,000 barrels/day, which is around 0.4% of the world supply.

The department assured it has met with the oil industry stakeholders to ensure supply while the problem persists, and asked if discounts could be extended to the public, especially to the public transport sector.

“Supply was assured and some companies (e.g. Jetti, Seaoil, Shell, Phoenix, Unioil) agreed to extend discounts to the public transport industry on top of existing discounts currently given like vaccination and loyalty incentives,” it added.

The DOE said it required the unbundling of the cost of retail products to determine their true and passed-on cost.

It maintained that the unbundling of oil prices would result in greater market transparency by establishing the trends in the prices of oil and finished petroleum products.

This, in turn, would help ensure a level playing field within the oil industry, while upholding the best interests of consumers, the DOE said.

 

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