by Genalyn Kabiling, January 28, 2015
from Manila Bulletin
The government is ready with contingency measures to boost the country’s power supply during the summer months, while it waits for Congress to act on the proposed special powers for President Aquino.
The assurance was made by Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. a few months before the summer season sets in when power supply is expected to be insufficient to service the requirements in Luzon.
“The Department of Energy continues to prepare the possible contingency measures to protect the welfare of the people and ease the negative effect in case of brownouts during the summer [months],” Coloma said in Filipino during a media interview in Malacañang.
Among the power augmentation measures are the use of the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) for the Luzon grid, repair of power plants, and preparation of reserved power facilities, according to Coloma.
“Although the action of Congress is not yet complete, the Department of Energy has not stopped preparing for such relief measures,” he added.
President Aquino in September 2014 asked for the congressional nod to grant him special powers under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) to contract additional power capacity to prevent energy shortage in Luzon in the summer of 2015.
Congress however has yet to pass the resolution giving such powers to the President due to reported concerns that there is no imminent danger of power shortage.
The President has already warned that Luzon might suffer as much as 1,000-megawatt power shortage this summer if the government is unable to contract additional power capacity to boost the country’s power reserves.
Coloma denied that the government was no longer relying on Congress to act on the President’s request for additional powers to boost power supply. He said it is important for all sectors, including Congress, to cooperate and make necessary preparations to provide reliable electricity to the people this summer season.
“It’s best to prepare for a possible deficiency in power supply because just like what the President said the most expensive power is no power,” Coloma added.
“The government is trying to prevent such a situation so we are working hard to prevent or mitigate the negative effect,” he added.