Secretary Petilla should be fired


WE know President Aquino will never do it.

But we are writing this editorial just the same to put this matter on record: the Secretary of the Department of Energy lied to the people, attempted to create a panic, and tried to mislead the Congress of the Philippines into performing an act of abuse of power and authority by giving the President emergency powers.

These felonious acts are in addition to Sec. Jericho Petilla’s having been an incompetent head of the DOE, where he has neglected to do his duty in that government agency so crucial to the lives and health of the people, the education of our children, the state of business and industry, the prospects of attracting foreign investments, the operation of news media, the very functioning of every branch of government and virtually everything about the well-being of our nation.

The unfitness of Sec. Petilla for the job he has held for nearly two years now (President Aquino appointed him to the DOE on Nov. 4, 2012) has been observed by the victims of his incompetence and negligence–namely families using electric power, businessmen and industrialists and national and local government officials. It has been condemned by everyone in media (except those who are conscripts of the Aquino administration). His unfitness became abundantly clear at the hearing of the Energy Committee of the House of Representatives last Monday.

The aim of the hearing was to discuss the Senate-House joint resolution to grant the President emergency powers to solve what Secretary Petilla has been scaring everybody about–a looming power crisis in Luzon next year. It would paralyze not just the cities but also every productive endeavor everywhere in the country.

Mr. Petilla has been campaigning to have the Congress grant emergency powers to the President since just before he gave his 2014 State of the Nation Address.

The House hearing became a venue of revelations showing that Sec. Petilla either did not know what he was talking about or was inventing a non-existent power shortage crisis.

There would be no insurmountable power shortage problem because the large industries and businesses with their own heavy duty generators have committed to use these when necessary–whenever the supply of power became critically low.

Contrary to Sec. Petilla’s alarmist pronouncements, DOE experts who went to the hearing –which he did not attend–said the power shortage in 2015 would only be about 21 to 31 MW. This would only be experienced in the first half of April. Yet, Sec. Petilla had been insisting that the entire summer season next year would be cursed with shortages. And he has been saying the shortage would be in the high hundreds of MW.

The DOE representatives at the hearing also admitted that there would be no need to spend P6 billion to contract additional generating capacity of 300 megawatts.

Officials of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) also disclosed at the hearing that the expected power shortage would require the imposition only of an hour of brownouts once a week. And these brownouts would be scheduled on rotation in various areas during the peak hours.

All of these revelations convinced the congressmen that Sec. Petilla’s move to obtain emergency powers for the President had no bases.

But it also revealed that Secretary Petilla had either been manufacturing a power crisis or is just so ignorant of the data that his own experts in the DOE have.

He should be fired.

But of course President Aquino will not sack Mr. Petilla. That’s because Mr. Aquino is guilty of having told bigger lies and committed more serious and harmful acts of criminal incompetence and negligence than his Energy Secretary.


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  1. It’s obvious how the author and the comments on this article are blissfully ignorant of how the energy industry really works.

    DOE has no power over the rate hikes we’ve been experiencing, it’s the ERC you should be angry at.

    he’s only been appointed as the Secretary for the past 2 years, power plants will take at least 3-4 years to come online, NOT counting the time it takes to come up with a study & securing the paperwork, thus, your metric of his incompetence is null & idiotic to say the least.

    the gov’t DOES NOT have the authority to construct power plants, it’s all in the hands of the private sector. if you want to complain about that, blame Osmena who wrote that law, which states that ONLY the private sector can build and manage power plants. all the DOE can do is give them the numbers saying we need this much power, but it’s up to the private sector if they want to build it in the first place.

    Osmena’s wife is part of a corporation that owns a power plant, while he sits on the energy committee. if that’s not a conflict of interest, i don’t know what is. it really doesn’t take a genius to figure out why he hates Petilla.

    read the EPIRA ffs!

    should we have rotating brown-outs come summer 2015, then it’s Osmena’s head that should roll. he’s been on the energy committee for way too long & he hasn’t addressed any of these issues AT ALL. all he’s done is complain while he sits comfortable counting the money we’ve been paying to the privatized energy industry that he is a part of.

    PNoy on the other hand is an obvious failure, and that is a fact on which we all can agree.


  2. He even said in his visit here in Negros Oriental that it’s fine to cut the last remaining forest cover of Negros Oriental to expand EDC (business company) Geothermal Power Plant despite lapses of Environmental requirements…

    it has been admitted by the EDC during the Kapihan sa PIA last August 13, 2014 & local press releases that the cutting of 576 or more trees for the Nasulo Project (2013 NJ3RD Access Road/Expansion Project) was supported with a cutting permit from DENR but failed to inform the public particularly the local government units as the application was done from the higher offices.

    We have read through the paper by Kristmannsdottir and Armannsson (2003) and careful review on EDC’s ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE REPORT AND MANAGEMENT PLAN (EPRMP) FOR PALINPINON GEOTHERMAL POWER PROJECT UNIT II (PGPP-II): ADDITIONAL 50MW NASULO GEOTHERMAL POWER PLANT or their so-called EIA data revealed that most of the data gathered were obsolete or needs updated (more current) and biological data cited and analysis lacks supporting references and time of assessment is very limited. Many of the reported trees cut of the EDC 2013 NJ3RD Access Road/Expansion Project with DENR Permit (as admitted publicly through local newspapers) were not mitigated in the ECC. Same with the affected faunal species. What happened to those threatened species of trees cut?


  3. The INCOMPETENCE is deeply rooted from the highest official down to the Cabinet members and every appointed Usecs and Asecs, This is the worse regime we ever had , their term should have been cut short a long time ago.

  4. Petilla has been incompetent long time ago and we’ve all been calling for his resignation but Pnoy chooses to side with his cabinet members because of, hmm, I really don’t know why he’s trying so hard to protect them. If they (administration) listened to the warnings of energy expertsa few years ago, potential brownouts at present and future ones could be avoided. It’s best to be prepared than patch things up when disasters have struck. Haven’t we learned enough from the many dark days we have gone through?

  5. All excess baggage be cleared from Malacanang. They have become a liability. Lord Jesus, have mercy on them.

  6. Hope that Pnoy realize that Petilla’s mistakes will push his political career downward. Keeping Petilla in his cabinet is like having a rotten tomatoe in a basket , anyway this basket also contains more rotten tomatoes.

  7. If these experts are correct of what they are saying or their findings, then why should the congress grant an emergency powers as requested if congressmen are really convince by these experts contrary to the DOE Secretary claimed. Is it correct to say the congress must pass a resolution requesting the President to fire DOE Secretary. But how come if these so called experts missed their target? Who should be blamed and accountable? Is it the editorialist or the critics?

  8. I thought Petilla was incompetent before. But, it is much worse than that. He is manipulating numbers to tell a story that is untrue. The famous saying, “Numbers do not lie, but liars do.” is very appropriate for Petilla.

  9. This is the result of appointing politicians in the government bureaucracy. The biggest blame should be to PNoy for his decisions in appointing misfits to his cabinet. Roxas, Abaya, Petilla, Abad, even Lacson, are all politicians and as proven by their bungling in their respective jobs, are proven misfits. His demeanors and actions as president of the country speak of an incompetent and clueless leader. He cannot even be compared to the competence and leadership of Marcos, his family’s favorite villain. Marcos appointed mostly technocrats to his cabinet that’s why they were able to put up several infrastructure projects which until now serve for the country’s economic development.

  10. Mr. Petilla, the incompetent DOE Sec.
    should be fired long ago. He’s creating
    panic and bogus power crisis.

  11. Vincent de Belen on

    If the President is really smart or he’s the best one we ever have as some of his supporters say. He should have fired him a long,long time ago. Sigh! Sec Petilla is just one of the boys…. No efficiency and no experience that will qualify him to the position he is occupying now.

    • and according to the dzrh commentators, deo, angelo and nino, petilla is aspiring to be included in the lp senatorial line up in 2016. hindi kaya fund raising ang purpose ng P6B funding request for the supposed power shortage??

  12. It is so disgusting whats been happening to our politicians I have resolved to no longer vote next election. I am a retired man who has seen varied political events beginning marcos’ reign to gloria but this current administration is the worst and I don’t see any hope of better times from the crop of aspirants we now have. I will not hasten my demise by remorse and disgust so I have decided to ignore these politicians henceforth and just live the rest of my life in retirement and hope for God’s mercy for our country.