Lawmakers question lax enforcement of sanctions vs power producers with unscheduled outages
by Maris Federez | Posted on Thursday, April 25th, 2019
The Senate of the Philippines conducted an investigation on the thinning electric supply in Luzon Grid brought about by the unplanned maintenance shutdown of some power plants.
The Committee on Energy of both houses of Congress, in a joint hearing, questioned the Energy Regulatory Board and the Department of Energy on the measures they have undertaken to counter the scarcity of electric supply during the hot season.
The lawmakers said they find the almost simultaneous unscheduled maintenance shutdown of power plants baffling.
They questioned the lack of clear policy on meting out penalties against erring power producers.
Senate committee on energy chairman, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, stressed, “We want to see a policy that will penalize the power producers because it’s their job to make sure that their commitment is always a commitment.”
To which, DOE Asec. Redentor Deleola answered, “As of now, none Mr. Chair. Again, depending on their contractual arrangement with their off-takers.”
Meanwhile, consumer group Laban Konsyumer insisted that the ERC should take after the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) when it penalized Manila Water due to the recent water crisis.
Atty. Vic Dimagiba of Laban Konsyumer said, “they can do what MWSS did. (They have) the mandate to impose a penalty.”
The DOE, on the other hand, said that they are now reviewing several policies, such as the Interruptible Load Program.
This is to prevent power crisis that maintenance shutdowns of power plants might bring. –Maris Federez (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Tuesday, April 30th, 2019
Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco called on the Department of Energy (DOE) and the power sector to guarantee enough power supply during the election day on May 13, as well as during the counting of ballots and transmission of complete election results.
Velasco, the chairman of House Committee on Energy, said in a statement that this is to protect the credibility of election results amid the continuous issuance of yellow and red alert notices in the Luzon power grid.
“What the public wants is a fair, clean and honest election. If there will be power interruptions, I worry that it would compromise the results and credibility of the election,” said Velasco.
“Our energy officials and industry players must pull all strings to allay fears and meet the public’s expectations,” he added.
The Luzon grid has been continuously placed under red and yellow alerts by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) due to insufficient power reserves as a result of unplanned maintenance or breakdown of several power plants.
Energy officials have also indicated that the power supply woes could linger until June because of thin power reserves.
Although authorities have continuously assured that there will be sufficient power supply during the election, Velasco said contingency plans must be put in place to prevent power outages, especially during the canvassing and transmission of votes.
“They better be ready. We cannot afford to endanger the election processes and the results,” Velasco said.
The lawmaker also urged the DOE to fast-track the implementing rules and regulations of the Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop (EVOSS) to bring down the cost of doing business in the country of potential investors.
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