House willing to grant Aquino emergency powers if…
MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives is willing to grant President Aquino emergency powers to address the power crisis if only to make it mandatory for businesses to participate in alleviating the country’s electricity woes, a lawmaker said on Monday.
Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, who chairs the House energy committee, said currently the Interruptible Loading Program (ILP) would be voluntary for the big industrial and commercial customers.
Under the program, big industrial and commercial customers who have the ability to produce their own electricity through generating sets should cut off or reduce their supplied electricity, particularly during peak periods of the day, and instead use their own generators.
This would give other customers who may need power than commercial users uninterrupted electricity supply.
Umali said commercial establishments are also expected to transfer to the power grid their excess energy from their gensets.
“It will remain voluntary so that it will be flexible for the participant. But as a last resort, the House of Representatives would be willing to support granting the President emergency powers to make ILP mandatory for those not willing to participate,” Umali said in a press conference in representing the joint congressional power commission.
Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla earlier claimed that President Benigno Aquino III has been “seriously considering” seeking emergency powers from Congress after power players expressed little interest in the ILP which would also provide incentives to businesses in using their own power generators during peak hours.
Umali said under the program, the cost of providing additional capacity would be worth P0.52 cents per kilowatt hour for those consuming 200 kilowatt per hour.
This amounts to a total of P81 million to address the power shortage for two and a half months during the summer in 2015, he said.
Congress would rather source the P81 million from the Malampaya funds so the cost would not be transferred to ordinary consumers, Umali added.
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