DOE, business groups to discuss solutions to power crisis

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The Department of Energy is set to sit down with business groups and stakeholders this week to finalize their recommendations on resolving the looming power shortage next year.

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Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said he would meet with private sector groups such as the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Philippine Management Association, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, and the Makati Business Club.

“We will have a final meeting with them on their recommendations for the expected power problem,” said Petilla.

Petilla added that he also wants to get the input of the private sector groups on his proposal to invoke Section 71 of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act, which grants emergency powers to the President to deal with a power crisis.

The energy chief admitted that business groups and industry players are divided on the granting of emergency powers to President Aquino.

He expressed willingness to withdraw his recommendation to the President if power producers could assure him of enough power supply next year.

Meanwhile, Petilla said the Interruptible Load Program (ILP), or power coming from generator sets of business groups, is the country’s biggest hope for the upcoming reserve deficit in the summer of 2015. He said he hopes to get a total power estimate for the ILP this week.

“Time is running out, so I told the private sector you need give us a number,” Petilla said. The ILP capacity was earlier estimated at 50 megawatts.

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