Aquino to stay at home during Lenten holidays
MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino III will escape this Holy Week to his customary “resorts”—his family’s home on Times Street and his bachelor’s pad by the Pasig River or Bahay Pangarap.
In an interview during a break in his inspection tour of transport facilities, President Aquino said he would spend Holy Thursday with his family for the Visita Iglesia, a Catholic tradition of visiting churches.
The President said they would have another family gathering on Easter Sunday.
In between, the President said, he would go on his usual retreat. “Just the usual, either at Times Mountain Resort in Quezon City or at the Pangarap River Resort, that is where I’d stay,” said the President.
The President spent Wednesday afternoon checking the mass exodus of Holy Week travelers from the capital by plane or ship or bus at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminals 3 and 4; North Passenger Terminal Complex, Manila North Harbor, Tondo, Manila; and bus terminals of Five Star Bus and JAC Liner on EDSA in Quezon City.
He was accompanied by Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima, Transport Secretary Joseph Abaya, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, and Metro Manila Development Authority Chair Francis Tolentino.
As this developed, President Aquino appealed to the public to go easy on the use of air conditioners especially during the peak of summer next month to lessen the load on Luzon’s depleted energy reserves.
“Kapag hindi natin pinagtulungan, talagang kakapusin tayo sa kasalukuyan (If we don’t help each other, we will really suffer a shortage in the present),” said President Aquino.
President Aquino said he was briefed Tuesday on the power situation by Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla who warned that the power supply could hit critical levels next month.
“And his most urgent request was in our use of airconditioners, if it was possible that we set the temperature level at 24 (degrees centigrade) instead of 19, that would make a big difference,” said the President who noted an air conditioner needed 3,000 watts to run for a day or 16 times more than the 180 watts used by a refrigerator.
The President blamed the unscheduled breakdown of power plants (Masinloc plant in Zambales and Pagbilao plant in Quezon) over the past few weeks for the drop in power supply. He said the government had decided to continue with the scheduled preventive maintenance (of the Malampaya power plant) rather than risk pushing these plants to the limit and suffer unplanned breakdowns.
This is why, the President said, the government has opted to deploy the Malaya power plant in Pililia, Rizal which was built primarily as a stand-by power source when big power plants of more than 600 megawatts get off the grid.
President Aquino was still hopeful that Luzon would avoid brownouts especially if power consumption would not rise so much during the torrid days of summer.
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