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Power shortage will wipe out PH economic gains, not SC’s DAP ruling

Valenzuela City Congressman Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian issued this statement after Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said the High Court’s ruling will undo the economic progress achieved by the Aquino administration in the past years in the Senate hearing on Thursday.

Gatchalian, a vice chair on the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, noted that the increasing business activities will be stifled if their energy requirements are not met.


“The Philippines’ new reputation as the next Asian miracle will go to waste if economic growth cannot go hand-in-hand with energy development. Rising industrial operations will have to be fueled with enough power supply,” Gatchalian explained.

“So a concrete blueprint to avert the looming power crisis is severely crucial if we want to keep our investors from transferring to other countries,” he warned.

The former Valenzuela City mayor said unemployment will likely worsen and government revenues will suffer shortfall if shops shut down and relocate to other countries.


The lawmaker added that the country has to solve its power woes if it wants to attract more investors, especially with next year’s integration of ASEAN nations.


“To be competitive, we must assure foreign investors will find a hospitable environment for their businesses and that includes not only processing of business permits easy but also providing enough power supply for their business activities,” Gatchalian said.


During the Senate Finance Committee’s hearing on Thursday morning, Abad claimed SC’s decision will dampen public spending, saying the DAP is the government’s critical response to the low level of spending which threatened economic growth.


The Budget secretary also linked the DAP to the country’s record gross domestic product or GDP growth of 6.8 percent in 2012 and 7.2 percent in 2013, which earned praise from international financial institutions.


In the same Senate inquiry, Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla admitted that the country has a thin power supply in 2015 and longer rotating brownouts are expected in the summer months that usually begin in March and ends in May.

He said additional generating capacity is needed to avert a power crisis next year.


Petilla proposed the granting of emergency powers to the President to deal with the impending power crisis in the form of contracting modular power plants from Dubai and the United States that can be installed from four to five months.

The mini power plants can generate anywhere from 2 to 30 megawatts and can be contracted on a short-term basis.

The House of Representatives is already taking into consideration the DOE’s recommendation of granting the President emergency powers to deal with the looming power crisis. (Monica Cantilero)