Hontiveros, Tolentino call for action, probe into Panay blackout | Inquirer News

Hontiveros, Tolentino call for action, probe into Panay blackout

/ 02:39 PM January 08, 2024

Hontiveros, Tolentino call for action, probe into Panay blackout


MANILA, Philippines — Senators Risa Hontiveros and Francis Tolentino filed a resolution on Monday calling for an “extensive inquiry” into the massive power outage that plagued Panay Island early this month.

Hontiveros, in her Senate Resolution No. 890, said the power outage on January 2 caused widespread disruption to the daily lives of people in the affected areas, resulted in substantial financial losses for businesses, and impeded the operation of government offices, schools, and hospitals.


“Considering that past investigations and probes have not yielded palpable results, an even more comprehensive, thorough, and extensive examination needs to be conducted, including a review of the concession agreement between the National Transmission Corporation and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, as well as NGCP’s 25-year legislative franchise itself,” the senator’s resolution reads.


In a separate statement issued Monday, Hontiveros, who hails from Panay, said there is also a need to urgently review the protocols and mechanisms of the Department of Energy during such incidents.

“NGCP claims that its decision to take no action like manual load dropping during the blackout was according to standard protocols. Is it really standard procedure to remain silent when there is a crisis like a blackout?” Hontiveros pointed out.

The opposition senator also questioned the “slow and inadequate real-time updates” to energy stakeholders and the public amid the blackout.

“Nakakaawa yung mga kasimanwa natin na naiwang nangangapa sa dilim dahil sa blackout, at dahil din sa kawalan ng impormasyon. Why was there no real-time information from NGCP when it had all the tools to provide it? Pinagtiis na naman tayong mga Pilipino sa paulit-ulit na palpak na serbisyo,” Hontiveros said.

(It’s a pity our people were left in the dark because of the blackout and the lack of information. Why was there no real-time information from NGCP when it had all the tools to provide it? We, Filipinos, have endured repeated sloppy service.)


Hontiveros specifically emphasized that if the Senate’s investigation revealed that NGCP is negligent, Congress should start to review the corporation’s 25-year legislative franchise.

On the other hand, Tolentino urged the Senate committee on energy to inquire into the continuous blackouts in Iloilo following the recent power outage in Western Visayas.

Tolentino’s Senate Resolution No. 894 states that the same power outage was already felt multiple times in the region due to various factors.

“The widespread power disruptions pose an adverse impact on the overall economy of the region comprising the productivity and operational efficiency of the people and businesses in the province,” said Tolentino in his resolution.

“Unless soonest resolved, through the adoption of new solutions including infrastructure upgrades, improved maintenance schedules, and the exploration of alternative energy resources, these power disruptions will be the bane to the continuous and uninterrupted growth and prosperity of the region,” he added.

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Apart from Hontiveros and Tolentino, Senators Raffy Tulfo, Ronald dela Rosa, and Sherwin Gatchalian expressed their plans to lodge separate measures to investigate the massive blackout.

A motu proprio inquiry on the issue, to be headed by the chamber’s committee energy, is already set for Wednesday, January 10.


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TAGS: blackout, Francis Tolentino, Panay, Risa Hontiveros

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