DOE probing possible collusion of power firms amid Luzon power outages
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Energy (DOE) is investigating if there was collusion among power firms amid the rotational brownouts experienced in Luzon earlier this month.
During the hearing of the Senate Committee on Energy on Thursday, DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi said the “ultimate cause” of the rotational brownout was the forced and unplanned outages of several major power plants servicing the Luzon region.
“Nagkasabay-sabay ang pagkawala ng supply galing sa ilang malalaking planta (The loss of supply from major power plants happened simultaneously). That is the ultimate cause,” Cusi said.
“We are already investigating these power plants and we have asked the assistance of the Department of Justice, the Philippine Competition Commission, and the Energy Regulatory Commission to determine if there was collusion. If found to be so, proper charges shall be filed against those who are responsible,” he added.
The DOE earlier said that the red alert power status in Luzon may persist until this week if the power plants are not in full operation.
Nonetheless, DOE Director of Electric Power Industry Management Bureau (EPIMB) Mario Marasigan expressed hopes that rotational brownouts may no longer be implemented by mid-month as the agency projects the Luzon grid will only be under “yellow alert” by June 11.
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