Palace sees 'minimal' power supply shortage

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 03 2015 06:00 PM | Updated as of Mar 04 2015 02:00 AM

MANILA - Malacañang said the Department of Energy (DOE) has been taking steps to address the expected power shortage during the summer months even if Congress has not passed the proposed special powers for the President.

Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said the executive is not relying entirely on the "special power" to address the situation as the DOE has been coordinating with the private sector to chip in.

Citing reported DOE projections, the Palace is confident that power deficiency, if any, would be "minimal."

"Marami ng mga kumpanya ang nagpahayag ng kanilang kahandaan na gamitin 'yung kanilang mga sariling generator sets. Bukod pa roon ay matagal-tagal na ring nagpapaliwanag ang Department of Energy tungkol sa kahalagahan ng emergency conservation measures. Tinututukan din 'yung mga maintenance schedules ng iba't ibang power generating plants para huwag magkaroon ng unscheduled maintenance. Kaya sa pangkalahatan, makikita naman natin, ayon doon sa latest projection ng DOE, nakikita natin na minimal ang magiging shortage o power supply deficiency," Coloma said.

"Ganunpaman, ang pinaiiral nila ay ang sense of urgency na puspusan ang pakikipag-ugnayan sa pribadong sektor para ma-minimize 'yung posibilidad na magkaroon ng rotating brownouts. Sa kabuuan, hindi naman sila umasa doon sa pagkakaroon ng emergency powers dahil wala naman 'yun sa kontrol ng ehekutibo. Sa kabila ng delay na naganap ay nagsagawa naman ang DOE ng koordinasyon sa pribadong sektor. At kumpara doon sa period ng August, September last year, mataas ang kumpiyansa ng DOE na malalagpasan ang kung anumang power supply deficiency ang mararanasan natin sa darating na linggo at buwan," he added.

The Senate recently approved on third and final reading the measure that grants the President special powers to prevent blackouts this summer without having to lease new generator sets that could cost electricity consumers billions of pesos.

Sixteen senators voted to approve the joint resolution that aims to prevent a power shortage in the hot summer months, when electricity consumption is at its peak. No one objected nor abstained.

Among others, the Senate's version of Joint Resolution 12 passed on Monday seeks to implement the interruptible load program (ILP), which would provide incentives to big establishments like malls which use their generator sets in order to consume less power from the Luzon grid especially during peak hours.