Malacañang, tiniyak na hindi aabusuhin ang kapangyarihang ibibigay ng Kongreso kay Pangulong Aquino

admin   •   September 17, 2014   •   1999

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda (UNTV News)

MANILA, Philippines – Ipauubaya na lamang ng Malacañang kay Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jerico Petilla ang pagdidetalye sa dalawang kapulungan ng kongreso ang hinihinging joint resolution ni Pangulong Benigno Aquino III upang masolusyunan ang nakaambang power shortage sa 2015.

Sinabi ni Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda na ang dagdag na kapangyarihan na hihingin ng Pangulo ay magiging limitado lamang sa isinasaad ng power crisis provision ng EPIRA Law at walang anumang kaugnayan sa isyu ng term extension.

“The powers invoke here are based on Section 71 of the EPIRA and provisions are very clear and it is limited to only during the period of time where we anticipate a possible shortage come next 2015.”

Tiniyak rin ng Malacañang na hindi maaabuso ang kapangyarihang ibibigay ng kongreso kay Pangulong Aquino.

“Concern natin yan of course we will make sure that pag-aaralan po ng Senado rin yan at ng house saka ni Secretary Petilla na the use of, kung ano ang gagamiting measures eh dapat yun po ay kung ano angbabayaran yun lang ang gagamitin,” saad pa ni Lacierda. (Nel Maribojoc / Ruth Navales, UNTV News)

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)

Bill extending lifeline power rate subsidies filed in Senate

Robie de Guzman   •   June 4, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Thursday said he has filed a bill seeking to extend the implementation of the lifeline power rate subsidies.

In a statement, Gatchalian said he filed Senate Bill No. 1583 which proposes to extend for another 20 years the lifeline rate subsidies to provide continuous relief to marginalized households or those who consume 100 kilowatt-hours (kWh) or less per month.

The bill also seeks to further amend Section 73 of Republic Act 9136 or the Electricity Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA).

Under the EPIRA law, the lifeline rate or a subsidized rate was given for a period of 10 years to low-income captive market end-users who cannot afford to pay at full cost.

In 2011, the lifeline rate has been extended until 2021, by virtue of RA No. 10150. The law mandates the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to set the lifeline rate for low-income households.

With the lifeline-rate subsidy set to expire next year, Gatchalian stressed the urgent need to further extend subsidies to help low-income power consumers up until 2041.

“The spirit of this measure is to really cushion the blow of power-rate increases to marginalized households who cannot afford to pay the full cost of their electricity bill,” said Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate energy committee.

“We already made strides in breaking that barrier to access electricity through the lifeline-rate subsidies and there’s no turning back now,” he added.

At present, customers with an average monthly consumption of 21 to 50kWh are entitled to a 50-percent discount while those consuming an average of 51-70 kWh will get a 35-percent discount.

On the part of those who consume an average monthly electricity of 71 to 100 kWh, they are entitled to a 20-percent discount.

Gatchalian said the lifeline rate has benefited numerous low-income households through the years.

In the Meralco franchise alone, 2,410,974 households availed of the lifeline rate in 2019 saving them P3.8 billion. This translates to P1,576 annual savings for each of these households.

Alleged plotters refute Malacañang’s oust Duterte matrix

Robie de Guzman   •   May 8, 2019

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo presented the new matrix of alleged conspiracy between the Liberal Party, the Magdalo group and other organizations seeking to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.

MANILA, Philippines – Opposition groups and individuals who were accused as plotters to oust President Rodrigo Duterte have denied the latest allegation floated by Malacañang several days before the May 13 midterm elections.

Citing supposed intelligence information, Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Wednesday presented a new diagram showing the purported conspiracy between the Liberal Party (LP), Magdalo group and other organizations and individuals to “discredit the administration and to boost the candidacy of the opposition.”

READ: Palace shows new diagram on Magdalo, Liberal party ‘conspiracy’ to oust Duterte

“This is the nth time that the administration, when confronted with controversy, falsely accuses the LP of being involved in ouster plots. Gawa-gawa lang yan (that’s just fabricated),” said LP president Sen. Francis Pangilinan in a message to reporters.

“Ang hindi gawa-gawa na dapat nilang ipaliwanag ay bakit walang nahuhuli na mga drug lord o pinaparusahan na opisyal ng Customs sa paulit-ulit na pagpuslit ng toneladang shabu sa BoC,” he added. 

Edwin Lacierda, a spokesman of former President Benigno Aquino III, also dismissed as fabricated a matrix released by Malacañang.

Lacierda said, “a Grade School Matrix does not an evidence make.”

“This government seemed to have discovered a new technology called The Grade School Matrix as this is the third time this government employed a matrix to refute charges against them,” he said in a message.

He believes his name could have been linked to the alleged ouster plot because he is an “active liker” of Magdalo Party-list Representative Gary Alejano, a senatorial candidate of opposition slate ‘Otso Diretso’.

“If that is true, this government has all abandoned its sanity. it is also curious to note that Sec Panelo has distanced himself from the Grade School Matrix,” Lacierda said.

“I have no involvement whatsoever with the Bikoy video,” he added, referring to the “Ang Totoong Narco List” video series shared online.

VERA Files president Ellen Tordesillas also denied any involvement, calling Malacañang’s matrix an ‘imagined’ destabilization effort.

“I deny allegations by Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo linking me to any imagined destabilization efforts against the administration,” she said.

“I challenge him to present evidence, not just silly diagrams,” she added.

Meanwhile, Senator Antonio Trillanes, a vocal critic of Duterte, listed the issues against the President as he refuted claims that the Magdalo group was discrediting the administration.

“Si Duterte ang nagpapatay ng libu-libong Pilipino; may bilyun-bilyon pisong tagong yaman; gumigiba sa mga democratic institutions; minumura ang Diyos; at nag iimbento ng mga akusasyon sa mga kritiko niya; tapos kami ang nagdi-discredit?” Trillanes said in a statement.

“May pa matrix-matrix ka pa na nalalaman, umayos ka nga Mr. Panelo,” he added. (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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