Senator Win Gatchalian moved for the conduct of inquiry in the Senate on the recent spate of rotational brownouts in Luzon in the hope of providing a long-term solution to electricity supply shortages especially during the summer season.
“This is a critical situation and I would like to request the Department of Energy to get all hands on deck especially in the next coming days because from the forecast that I am seeing, there will be problem of load dropping in the next eight days,” the Senate Energy Committee Chairperson said during Wednesday’s plenary session.
Gatchalian said that 339,000 households from 90 barangays in 16 LGUs lost their electricity on June 1, attesting that there were even two vaccination centers in Valenzuela that experienced power interruption.
In filing Senate Resolution No. 740, Gatchalian underscored the role of the DOE in ensuring the quality, reliability, security, and affordability of electric power supply in the country. He stressed that it is crucial to hold DOE to account for its failure to address power supply shortages since 2016.
“The DOE even gave assurances during the Energy Committee’s hearing on April 27 that there is no high risk of supply shortage during the summer season, yet some areas in Luzon experienced rotational brownouts on May 31 and June 1 due to red alerts,” Gatchalian lamented.
“Furthermore, it is crucial for the DOE to provide long-term solutions to this problem and a specific timeline for these plans, to include the hastening of the build out of new power plants, aggressively utilizing energy efficiency and conservation, and contracting sufficient ancillary reserves. All these things are necessary to protect the public and the economy from losses due to power outages and the resulting high prices of electricity due to limited power supply,” the lawmaker added.
Considering that the issue has been a recurring problem in the past five years, it’s high time that long-term solutions be finally put in place, Gatchalian concluded.