• ‘Emergency exit’ needed by Petilla, says Atienza

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    Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla is to blame if there is a power shortage next summer, Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said on Wednesday.

    “He needs to have an emergency exit,” Atienza said during deliberations on House Joint Resolution 21 that seeks to grant President Benigno Aquino 3rd emergency powers to address the looming energy crisis.

    He disagreed with Rep. Reynaldo Umali, chairman of the House Committee on Energy, that power consumers are to blame for the impending shortage.

    “The citizens are already bearing the brunt of high electricity bills, and now the government is blaming them for the looming power shortage?

    If someone must take the blame, it should be Secretary Jericho Petilla of DOE (Department of Energy),” Atienza said.

    According to the former Manila mayor, giving the President emergency powers will not solve the energy problem.

    “There are other alternatives to address the problem, like the use of the Malampaya funds and the Interruptible Load Program [ILP]. If our power plants are breaking down, does that not reflect on the persons managing them? Then we should get better and more efficient managers so we can avoid breakdowns like the ones we are facing now,” Atienza said.

    “The bottomline is, the buck stops with Secretary Petilla. If there was failure on their part to prepare for this impending crisis early on, then they should be made to answer for it. Don’t pass on to consumers the failings of the Department of Energy,” he added.

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