Tañada, Colmenares hit gov't for 'lack of planning' amid water, power supply woes

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 12 2019 07:14 PM

MANILA - Otso Diretso senatorial bet Erin Tañada and independent candidate Neri Colmenares on Friday slammed the Duterte administration for its failure to prepare for seasonal problems linked to the recent water crisis and power outages. 

“This shows that government does not prepare. We know what happens every summer, we know what happens every year. Puwede naman nating pagplanuhan 'yan. Ang problema, hindi pinaghahandaan (We can plan for that. The problem is we did not prepare),” he said.

Colmenares echoed Tañada and said the Department of Energy and the Energy Regulatory Commission should do its mandate by penalizing power plant corporations who will fail to deliver their promised electricity without passing the expense to consumers.

The supply problems have been attributed to increased demand during the summer months.

A red or yellow alert in terms of power supply would signal the acquisition of electricity from the wholesale electricity spot market, which is more expensive, Colmenares said.

“May kontrata kayo to deliver electricity sa publiko. Hindi mo na-deliver kung anuman ang nasira dun sa boiler niyo o anuman, problema niyo 'yun. 'Wag niyong ikarga sa aming consumers 'yun. Ibig sabihin kayo ang magbayad ng pagtaas ng presyo ng kuryente,” he said.

(You have a contract to deliver electricity to the public. If you can't deliver because your boiler broke or whatever, that's your problem. Don't charge it to consumers, meaning you should be the one to pay for higher electricity prices.)

Colmenares said it’s about time for Duterte to be “hands on” in addressing the country’s many problems, not just the illegal drugs trade.

“Taon-taon na lang alam natin 'yung summer. Wala pa naman akong naaalalang hindi nag-summer... we’re lurching from one crisis to another... hindi lang droga ang isyu natin,” he said.

(We know that summer comes every year. I cannot recall a year when there was no summer. We’re lurching from one crisis to another. Drugs is not our only issue.)

Authorities earlier said several areas in Luzon could be hit with rotational brownouts for up to 3 hours due to insufficient capacity.

Last month, several parts of Metro Manila suffered from a water supply shortage under concessionaire Manila Water. It continues to implement rotational service interruptions, with supply cut off in some areas for several hours a day.