Aquino keeps mum on emergency powers proposal in SONA
MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III made no indication in his 5th State of the Nation Address Monday, July 28, that he will invoke emergency powers in addressing the looming power shortage.
Aquino did not say whether or not he would heed his energy secretary’s advice to declare a state of power emergency to avert a supply shortage in the summer.
Instead, he said he instructed Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla to coordinate with the Joint Congressional Power Commission, Energy Regulatory Commission, industry players, and consumer groups to come up with solutions to the problem.
“Tingnan po natin ang sitwasyon sa enerhiya. Ginagawa na po natin ang lahat para siguruhing natutugunan ang lumalagong pangangailangan ng bansa,” he said.
(We are looking at the power situation. We are doing everything we can to ensure we will be able to meet the increasing requirements of the country.)
Petilla earlier projected a power deficit of about 200 megawatts (MW) in Luzon in the months of March to May in 2015. He said demand in the island is expected to hit 9,011 MW, higher than this year’s 8,717 MW. He said a buffer of 400 MW to 500 MW is needed.
Aquino blamed the shortage on “unforeseen” circumstances, such as the maintenance shutdowns of old power plants and delay in the construction of new ones. He said the El Niño phenomenon is also a threat to hydropower supply that could lead to higher electricity prices. (READ: Editorial Cartoon: Pasakit na blackout)
“Ang habol natin: kumpletong paghahanda para hindi tayo maparalisa sakaling mangyari ang worst-case scenario. Dapat, kahit sa susunod na taon pa uusbong ang problema, meron na tayong pinaplanong solusyon,” Aquino said.
(We are after complete remedy so we don’t get paralyzed in the worst-case scenario. We have to do something even if the shortage has yet to happen.) – Rappler.com
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