Consumers’ group hits plan to rent generators | Inquirer News
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Consumers’ group hits plan to rent generators

/ 08:30 AM October 09, 2014

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—The power consumers’ group People Opposed to unWarranted Electricity Rates (Power) called on the government to withdraw what the group said was a ridiculous plan to spend P6 billion in taxpayer money to rent generating sets to fill a projected shortfall in electric supply next year.

Reacting to statements attributed to Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla, the group said the government should instead build power plants and run them as utilities instead of wasting funds to rent power generators.

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Double whammy

“It is ridiculous for government to spend P6 billion in taxpayer money to rent bunker or diesel generators that will also make the price of electricity even more prohibitive than it already is,” said Teddy Casiño, one of the leaders of Power.

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“Petilla wants to hit us with a double whammy,” he said. “We will be burdened as taxpayers and as consumers.”

He said instead of granting the President special powers to contract additional supply of power from private firms, Power recommends that Congress allow the government, through the National Power Corp. (Napocor), to put up solar and other indigenous and renewable energy plants and run them as public utilities for the next 20-30 years.

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“Solar power plants can be put up in as short as six months,” Casino said.

“Napocor can do this even as it prepares to build more stable base load plants like hydroelectric and biomass plants. The beauty here is that these will be state-owned utilities that can provide our people with cheap, clean power for the next two to three decades,” he said.

But instead, he said, Petilla “wants us to splurge P6 billion that will surely fatten the wallets of their favored suppliers at the expense of taxpayers and consumers.”

The group also proposed the following measures to address next year’s projected power supply shortfall—upgrade existing government plants like the Malaya thermal plant, tap the capacities of distribution utilities and the private sector at a reasonable cost, implement an aggressive energy conservation and efficiency program, compel power generators to adjust their scheduled shutdowns and penalize those that fail to deliver their required capacities. Germelina Lacorte, Inquirer Mindanao

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TAGS: Consumer Group, Electric Supply, Jericho Petilla, Malaya thermal plant, NAPOCOR, People Opposed to Unwarranted Electricity Rates, power, Teddy Casiño
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