SENATE Minority Leader Ralph Recto on Wednesday filed a resolution calling for an investigation into the simultaneous shutdown of six power plants that led to rolling blackouts in Luzon.
Recto wants the Senate committee on energy to look into the power situation in the Luzon grid and determine the cause of the simultaneous shutdown of the power plants.
Recto noted that the power interruptions being experienced in Luzon “could disrupt the economic growth momentum of the Philippines and could discourage potential foreign investors.”
He was referring to the power interruptions in various areas from July 25 to 31 after the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) raised the red alert status twice and yellow alert daily.
Red alert is raised when the contingency power reserve is zero or when a power generation deficiency exists, while the yellow alert is raised when power reserves hit below the minimum level.
Recto said the chamber should determine “measures that would further ensure a reliable and secure supply of electric power.”
Meanwhile, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalina, who heads the committee on energy, called on the
Executive department to immediately address the country’s unstable power supply, noting that a Luzon-wide power outage would cost the country P3.3 billion in economic productivity per hour.
“Widespread power outages across Luzon would bring national economic productivity to a standstill. The Duterte administration must look into immediately expanding the power supply by tapping new energy resources.” said Gatchalian in a statement.
Gatchalian said the P3.3 billion was computed from official 2016 first quarter gross domestic product statistics released by the Philippine Statistics Authority earlier this year.
These statistics include potential losses from industries that rely primarily on grid power, including manufacturing, retail, trade and the services sector.