CEBU - Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras on Wednesday said a power crisis expected next year is being addressed by the Department of Energy (DOE).
Rene Almendras, who was in Cebu for a forum with the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) at the University of San Jose Recoletos, said there is an ongoing discussion on how to augment the power supply in the country.
"The problem with power supply is not with the base load problem but of what they call the peaking plants, and that only occurs during summer of 2015," he said.
He said there will be no more power shortage in 2016 as more plants are being built.
Meanwhile, Almendras said funds for the rehabilitation of the Yolanda-stricken areas will be downloaded even before the submission of Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) report, as President Aquino already approved certain funds that no longer need the PDNA.
Out of the P167 billion for rehabilitation, P90 million has been downloaded and the rest of the amount will given to implementing agencies and local government units.
Almendras said rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson is monitoring implementation of projects.
A team will inspect the areas where funds are given to find out if the money is used properly by either implementing agencies or local government units.
Almendras said funds have always been there and the money is not immediately released to ensure it is spent properly.
He said all rehabilitation-related expenses should be supported with documents.
PNOY AND FOI
Almendras also clarified why the President did not mention the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill in his State of the Nation Address Monday.
"His administration is anchored on transparency, good governance, so I was puzzled when I did not here the President talk about making FOI a law," said Jun Tagalog, president of the KBP Cebu City Chapter.
Almendras said the President did not forget about the FOI. He said there are other bills that need to be supported this year, including 7 proposed pieces of legislation for economic enhancement and the Bangsamoro.
He said that right now, government transparency is being by pushed forward through the internet.
Almendras said agencies' budgets and other information are now accessible in their websites.
He, said President Aquino plans to have the FOI bill approved by Congress and enacted into law before he steps down in 2016.
Almendras also informed Cebuanos about the upcoming construction of the new Mactan Cebu International Airport that will bring in more travellers.
He said Cebu City's traffic problem will also be addressed by the Bus Rapid Transit project.
Almendras' two-hour forum discussed other issues like the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program, K to 12, and the administration's transformative government.