Senate likely to OK limited special powers for PNoy

by Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 16 2014 07:28 PM | Updated as of Dec 17 2014 03:28 AM

MANILA - The Senate energy committee is likely to approve a resolution granting special powers for President Aquino to prevent an electricity shortage in 2015 -- but not until next year, and with limited authority.

The committee's chairman, Senator Sergio Osmeña III, said the committee report will be ready when session resumes in January.

“The special powers is not as the House envisioned it na blanket talaga,” Osmeña told reporters on Tuesday after a hearing on the issue.

Among the provisions that the committee is likely to approve are those exempting gas plants from the Biofuels Law so they can use regular diesel instead of biodiesel, and granting certain incentives like tax exemption for companies participating in the Interruptible Load Program (ILP).

The ILP, which Osmeña said would encourage large establishments to voluntarily use their generator sets to avoid an electricity shortage, can provide an estimated 1,000 megawatts of power.

“We will have the committee report ready for signing on the first session day of January,” he said. “But then we will have to sit down with the House, and I will do that beforehand.”