• Power problem to worsen on red tape


    The country’s power situation will worsen in the next two years in part due to bureaucratic red tape, a lawmaker said on Thursday.
    Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali said no new power plants are being built largely because the government is taking way too long in granting permits for their construction.

    “Securing permits requires 150 to 169 signatures and the process to build more power plants takes about four to five years or more,” Umali, chairman of the House Committee on Energy, told reporters.

    He said that in Peru and other countries, the government takes care of securing licenses and permits on behalf of the private investor. In certain states in the US it takes only 45 days to secure a government permit for building a new power plant.

    Power reserves across the Philippines are currently thin, with a large part of the country susceptible to outages every time aging power plants break down or undergo preventive maintenance.

    Parts of Metro Manila (National Capital Region) experienced rotating brownouts earlier last May because the Luzon grid fell short of the region’s demand following the technical shutdown of a 375-megawatt plant.

    During that month, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines, the country’s power grid operator, issued a red alert notice to its Luzon grid customers on insufficiency of power supply brought about by the unplanned shutdowns of certain power plants, including Unit 1 of Pagbilao plant in Quezon province.

    Umali has proposed a bill that will amend provisions of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (Epira).

    The measure seeks to also address concerns of investors about the country’s high power rates and power deficiency.

    Umali said there is a need to amend the Epira because “the promise of the law remains unfulfilled.”


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    1. It seems that the honorable representative had not been around the country for so long and just stayed on his seat in Congress to make a statement that until now no new power plants were built. What a show of ignorance for someone who holds that position as chairman on house committee on energy. In Cebu, two new thermal power plants were already operating, another one almost completed and one being started, one in Negros Occidental, a solar powered one and operating, a biomass power plant in progress and another two thermal power plants in Mindanao. It is people like this honorable ( kuno ) representative that makes the power situation in the country getting worse by making ignorant proclamation. He and his likes are the one creating red tapes expecting something in return.

    2. Rep. Umali is such full pretensions as if we do not know he is mainly trying to earn pogi points. Being a close ally of PNoy King, why does he not simply whisper to his corruptor to order all government concerns to simplify processing of business licenses, etc. The public already knows too well that red tape is done on purpose so any applicant will have to shell-out under-the-table money just to have their applications be processed. Red tape is all about “lagay.”