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)
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