Instead of passing the buck, Senator Win Gatchalian urged the Department of Energy (DOE) to address the power supply situation in the country before it gets worse since it has the legal mandate and power to compel industry players to follow policies on energy security.
“The DOE sounds inutile by passing the blame. It’s their job to assure the public on the sufficiency of power supply. Ang DOE ang ahensya na may kapangyarihan para i-supervise at siguraduhin na lahat ng mga private companies ay sumusunod sa polisiya, patakaran, at regulasyon para siguraduhin na may tuloy-tuloy na suplay ng kuryente,” Gatchalian stressed.
It can be recalled that Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi asked the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) on what it intends to do after the NGCP warned of a possible thinning of power supply in Luzon this summer, including the election period.
“Lalo akong kinakabahan bilang isang kandidato sa darating na halalan dahil alam natin na automated ang election. Pag walang kuryente, walang makinang makakabilang ng ating mga boto,” said Gatchalian.
“May kapangyarihan ang DOE na siguraduhin na sumusunod ang NGCP at mga pribadong power plants. Ang hindi sumunod ay maaaring patawan ng parusa ng Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC),” he added.
Gatchalian said his Committee on Energy is already set to conduct an inquiry next month on the plans and preparations of the DOE and other stakeholders to ensure that there will be no brownouts during the week of the conduct of elections four months from now.
Gatchalian noted that when the DOE said in a virtual press conference in August last year that the country will have no power interruption during the election week this year as the initial outlook shows sufficient supply, the said outlook did not take into consideration the forced and unplanned outages and the declining Malampaya supply.
Recently, yellow alerts were issued last January 10 and 11 after some generating units extended their maintenance shutdowns while others derated their committed generation output.