• Pacquiao-Mayweather fight brownout-free

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    FILIPINO boxing aficionados can fully enjoy watching the much-awaited megabout between ring icon Manny Pacquiao and undefeated American Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 3 because there will be no power outage on that day.

    Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla over the weekend said the power supply in Luzon is still stable, thus, brownouts are unwarranted.

    “May 3 is a weekend with less demand, so there will be no brownout on that day,” Petilla told reporters.

    Based on their four-week outlook, he said the power supply in the Luzon grid is still normal.

    “So far, so good. Luzon is still okay,” Petilla added.

    He said consumers have effectively cooperated and participated in energy conservation programs of the government.

    Besides, Petilla noted, almost all of the power plants are performing well as they have scheduled their maintenance work early.

    Sen. Ralph Recto earlier called on Department of Energy (DOE) officials to better ensure that May 3 is “National No Brownout Day.”

    In justifying his call, Recto said any outage anywhere will turn them into “punching bags” by people who would be deprived of watching on TV the Pacquiao-Mayweather megafight.

    “If the people won’t be able to cheer Manny because power is out, they will jeer the government,” he added.

    The executive branch, Recto said, should use the emergency powers it is asking for and which Congress is poised to grant to prevent blackouts on May 3.

    “The effectiveness of the emergency powers will be tested on May 3,” Recto said.

    Malacañang has invoked a section in the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (Epira) in asking Congress for emergency powers to contract additional capacity to avert an impending power crunch.

    Section 71 of Epira states that “upon the determination by the President of the Philippines of an imminent shortage of the supply of electricity, Congress may authorize, through a joint resolution, the establishment of additional generating capacity under such terms and conditions as it may approve.”

    A joint resolution granting emergency powers to the President is pending at the bicameral conference committee.

    “I think one promissory note we should be asking from the DOE is that there will be adequate supply of electricity on the day of the Pacquiao-Mayweather bout,” Recto said.

    Billed as the fight with the richest purse in history, the Pacquiao-Mayweather bout is on May 2 (May 3 Philippine time) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    The Energy department and several power firms earlier warned of a power crisis in Luzon in 2015 because of the shutdown of the Malampaya gas plant.

    Blackouts, however, have been averted, and the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) is yet to be harnessed.

    Under the ILP, heavy power consumers such as large corporations will be tapped to use their own generator sets to ease demand from the grid.

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