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Senate panel to look into DOE preps to ensure no brownouts during May polls

/ 11:57 AM January 25, 2022
Senate panel to look into DOE preps to ensure no brownouts during May polls

Will May 9 be a brownout day? The Senate wants to find out. TONEE DESPOJO/CEBU DAILY NEWS FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines —The Senate energy committee will examine how the Department of Energy (DOE) and other stakeholders plan to prevent brownouts in the May 9 elections.

The inquiry is scheduled for next month, according to Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, the panel’s chairman who urged DOE officials to address the power supply crisis before it worsened.

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“The DOE sounds inutile by passing the blame. It’s their job to assure the public on the sufficiency of power supply,” Gatchalian said in a statement Tuesday.

“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,” he added.

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(The DOE is the agency that has the power to supervise and ensure that all private companies comply with policies and regulations to ensure the continuous supply of electricity.)

The senator cited DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi’s previous statement. He asked NGCP its plans regarding a possible thin power supply in Luzon this summer, particularly during the elections.

READ: NGCP warns of thin power supply in Luzon grid as higher demand likely during dry season

“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,” Gatchalian, a reelectionist, went on.

(I’m more alarmed as a candidate for this year’s polls because we know that the election is automated. If there’s no power, no machine can count the votes.)

“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,” he added.

(The DOE has the power to ensure that the NGCP and private power plants. Those who will follow can be penalized by the Energy Regulatory Commission.)

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The senator, meanwhile, said that the DOE had assured them that electricity would be available throughout the country during the elections.

READ: Enough power supply for 2022 elections—DOE

According to Gatchalian, the DOE’s power forecast does not consider the forced and unplanned outages, nor does it account for the declining Malampaya supply.

He noted the yellow alerts recently issued last Jan. 10 and 11 after some generating units extended their maintenance shutdowns while others derated their committed generation output.

READ: #VotePH2022: COVID, power woes loom as poll concerns

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TAGS: 2022 polls, DoE, Elections, Nation, News, Power supply, Senate energy panel
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