The government is giving the public false brownout warnings despite the country’s surplus power supply even as summer nears, according to a party-list lawmaker.
Based on records of the Department of Energy (DOE), House Deputy Minority Leader Neri Colmenares of Bayan Muna on Monday said, the supply surplus ranges from 310 megawatts to 952 MW for March, April and May, on top of the 700 MW sourced from the Interruptible Load Program (ILP).
“What is the basis for threatening us with brownouts when the supply is more than the demand, unless the public is being conditioned to accept increased electricity rates in exchange for a phantom supply shortage?” Colmenares asked.
Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla earlier warned of two-hour rotating brownouts because of the Malampaya maintenance shutdown in March that supposedly would reduce Luzon’s power capacity to 9,000 MW from 11,469 MW.
“Based on the DOE figures, there should be more than enough supply even in a tight supply condition. What Secretary Petilla said last year was the same thing he is saying now and nothing has changed. If they were not able to show the need for emergency powers then or lack of supply then, it is still the same now,” Colmenares said.
“We should act now and Congress should fast-track the measures to stop these destructive and lopsided economic measures before it wreaks more havoc on the lives of the Filipino people,” he added.
The House of Representatives granted emergency powers to President Benigno Aquino 3rd in December last year to allow him to address an expected power supply shortfall in summer—an authorization that would allow the government to financially compensate private companies that will use their self-generating facilities or power generators for their own power supply during the summer months to ease the demand in the national grid under the ILP.
The emergency powers authorized the government to spend P450 million in subsidies for private firms that will participate in the ILP in an effort to raise around 800 MW of additional power supply.