Energy secretary urges big businesses to sacrifice profits
MANILA, Philippines–Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla appealed to big businesses to sacrifice profits and contribute to the energy reserve this coming summer when the country expects to experience power shortage.
“Ang appeal namin, huwag na kayo kumita dito. Puwedeng magsakripisyo ng konti. Kung compensation pinatakbo less than your cost, puwede bang tulong sa bayan ’yan? Kapag di ka nagparticipate ikaw rin mababrownout-an,” Petilla said at the sidelines of the Joint Congressional Power Commission meeting in the House of Representatives.
The Department of Energy is implementing the Interruptible Load Program (ILP), wherein big industrial and commercial customers that have the ability to produce their own electricity through generating sets should cut off or reduce their supplied electricity, particularly during peak periods of the day, and instead use their own generator sets.
This is to give way for the other customers who may need the power more than the commercial users. The businesses are also required to contribute their excess energy reserves.
The DOE official said he expects a supply shortfall of 600 MW by summer next year.
Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, who chairs the House energy committee, had said that under the ILP, the cost of providing additional capacity will be worth 52 centavos per kilowatt hour for those consuming 200 kilowatt per hour.
This amounts to a total of P81 million to address the power shortage for two and a half months during the summer in 2015, Umali said.
President Aquino earlier announced that he would be seeking additional powers to contract additional power to address the power shortage.
“Very soon, we will formally ask Congress for a joint resolution, that will authorize the national government to contract an additional generating capacity to address the 300-megawatt projected deficit, and, on top of that, to have sufficient regulating reserves equivalent to four percent of peak demand, for another 300 megawatts,” Aquino said.
Umali said the lower chamber has yet to receive Aquino’s proposal. He added that Congress will have to wait for the energy department’s proposed power capacity to contract.
The Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) allows emergency powers to the President “upon the determination by the President of the Philippines of an imminent shortage of the supply of electricity.”
“Congress may authorize, through a joint resolution, the establishment of additional generating capacity under such terms and conditions as it may approve,” Section 71 of the law reads.
“The specifics of that would have to be supplied to us by DOE, because it was DOE who recommended to the President that there has got to be a request for emergency power,” Umali said.
“We will have to wait for that declaration because he just mentioned that he will soon do this… We will have to await for whatever he will request us to do and how it should be done,” he added.