House panel probe on Panay power outage to start January 11 | Inquirer News

House panel probe on Panay power outage to start January 11

/ 03:05 PM January 05, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — The House committee on energy will start its hearing on the power outage affecting Panay Island on Thursday, January 11, Iloilo City Rep. Julienne Baronda said on Friday.

In a post on her Facebook page, Baronda showed a document from the said panel headed by former Speaker and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco, which showed that the committee will hold a meeting on the issue.

Baronda, along with several lawmakers, were among the authors of resolutions on the power shortage affecting Western Visayas.


In a statement, Baronda explained that while she and other Iloilo-based lawmakers have filed resolutions asking the House to probe the blackouts, it would be impossible to set dates for the hearing since the session of the 19th Congress is still adjourned.


Under the House rules, resolutions would only be referred to the respective committees during a plenary session.  However, the congressional session would only resume on January 23, or over two weeks from Friday.

Due to this, Baronda said that they decided to continue a hearing on the previous power outage that affected Western Visayas, and just include the recent incident in the agenda.

“Bilang tugon sa blackout na nakaapekto sa isla ng Panay mula Enero 2, hiniling namin sa pamunuan ng Kamara, partikular kay Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez at committee on energy chairperson Lord Allan Jay Velasco, na magpatawag ng pagdinig sa pamamagitan ng Komite sa Enerhiya,” Baronda said in a statement, which was originally written in Ilonggo.

(As a response to the blackout that affected the island of Panay since January 2, we asked the House leadership, particularly Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and committee on energy chairperson Lord Allan Jay Velasco, to call for a hearing through the said committee.)

“Gumawa tayo ng isang resolusyon na nagtulak sa imbestigasyon sa madilim na pagbabagong ito at ito ay nilagdaan ng ating mga kapwa Ilonggo Congressmen, ngunit dahil walang sesyon ang Kongreso ngayon, mas mabuting ipagpatuloy ang imbestigasyon sa nagaganap na power blackout sa Abril 2023,” she added.

(We crafted a resolution pushing for an investigation regarding this grim development, which was signed by our fellow Ilonggo lawmakers.  However, because Congress is not in session now, we deemed that it would be better to just resume the probe on the power blackout last April 2023.)


Households in Panay Island were plunged into darkness last Tuesday, which according to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NCGP) was caused by unscheduled maintenance shutdowns of different power plants.

READ: NGCP asserts need for better resource planning after Panay power outage

Several lawmakers from both the House and the Senate have called for a probe of the issue, as the impact on livelihood, schools, and businesses has been severe — with Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas calling it an “economic sabotage.”

On Wednesday, Baronda said that the House must exercise its oversight function and investigate the power outages, while ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro said that while NGCP should be held accountable, distribution company MORE Electric and Power Corporation is not yet off the hook over this incident.

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READ: Iloilo solon calls for probe into massive power outage in Panay

TAGS: House probe, Panay blackout, Panay Island, Panay Island power outage

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