More senators seek probe, penalty for 'unjustified' power outages

More senators seek probe, penalty for ‘unjustified’ power outages

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 02:08 PM April 24, 2024

More senators seek probe, penalty for 'unjustified' power outages

A power substation in Cainta, Rizal fenced off from the town public market. INQUIRER PHOTO/LYN RILLON

MANILA, Philippine — Senators are now taking steps  to investigate and possibly  penalize those responsible for the thinning of power supply  nationwide.

All  regions—Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao—have been placed under red or yellow alerts this Wednesday by the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines.


“This is a cause of great concern,” Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said in a message to reporters.


Gatchalian was caught by surprise that even the Mindanao grid was placed on yellow alert considering the “excess  capacity” in the region.

“Historically, the month of May is 3% to 5% higher interns of demand. That means, (we) will experience more brownouts if power plants will not go on line,”  said the senator, who previously headed the Senate committee on energy.

He then urged the Department of Energy (DOE) to immediately investigate these numerous forced outage of power plants as well as the reserves that NGCP should have contracted.

The reserves, he explained, act as a buffer when power supply is low.

In the Senate, Gatchalian said he would seek a separate probe “on government’s action or the lack of it”  to address these challenges in the face of El Niño, which is already causing problems for Filipinos.

Senator  Francis “Chiz” Escudero, meanwhile, urged the DOE and the Energy Regulatory Commission to “rein” in generation companies (gencos) by staying true to their scheduled stages.


Gencos, he said, should also be required to explain and justify the reasons behind these forced outages and “hold them accountable for any unreasonable or unjustified outage brought about by their negligence, incompetence or their own fault.”

“No amount of ancillary or stand-by power can guarantee sufficient supply nor be able to stabilize the grid if this (forced outages) continues to persist unchecked,” Escudero said.

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On Wednesday, opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros also demanded an explanation from the DOE as consumers continue to suffer from rotational brownouts and higher power bills.

TAGS: power outages, senators

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