PNoy unlikely to get 'special powers' before Malampaya shutdown

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 12 2015 03:45 PM | Updated as of Mar 12 2015 11:45 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales III conceded the proposed joint resolution granting President Aquino additional powers to address a power crisis in Luzon this summer may not pass before the Malampaya's month-long shutdown begins on Sunday.

Gonzales confirmed there is an impasse between the House and Senate panels of the bicameral conference committee reconciling the 2 chambers' versions of the bill.

"Bicam is headed for deadlock dahil ang House gustong wag ipass on yung additional cost na subsidize yung tataas ng ILP (interruptible load program). Meron dun ang disagreement sa Senate, ayaw na isubsidize ng gubyerno. We still have 3 days to go. We hope na magkaka-resolution," she said.

The bone of contention is whether or not government will subsidize the cost of the ILP or pass it on to consumers.

The ILP, where private companies supply power to the grid, is the answer to a projected thinning of energy reserves because of the El Nino phenomenon and the Malampaya turn around, among others.

"Kami we're very clear on the matter. Bahala na ang Senate kung ano. Ganito yan kung di kami makapag-agree, the only way we avoid pass on is if we approve and come to an agreement sa bicam kung walang report, automatically mapass on yun," Gonzales said.

The thinning of reserves puts the grid at risk of rotating brownouts should more than 2 plants conk out at the same time.