Bicam fails to agree on subsidy in Aquino special powers resolution
MANILA, Philippines — A bicameral conference committee working on the proposed joint resolution to provide emergency powers to President Benigno Aquino III to deal with power shortages during the summer months failed to reach agreement on Monday.
Four hours into the meeting on Monday, Sen. Serge Osmena III, who heads the Senate panel, said the Senate and House panels remain stuck on the issue concerning the cost of implementing the Interruptible Load Program (ILP), which will see private companies with their own generator sets going off the grid when power reserves are low.
Leaving the meeting, Osmena said that the Senate and House panels still have no consensus on whether the cost of implementing the ILP should be passed on to consumers or subsidized by the government.
The Senate panel wanted to adopt pass-on provision –which will cost consumers 4 centavos per kilowatt-hour — while the House wants the government to subsidize the cost of implementing the ILP through the Malampaya funds.
“We will have to conduct another bicam if we agree. If we don’t agree, then there will be no resolution,” Osmena said.
Osmena admitted there might be a possibility that Congress, which will adjourn its sessions on March 20, will not be able to pass the joint resolution that seeks to address the power shortages from March to July.
But he said that even if the resolution is not passed, the ILP was already working.
Rep. Reynaldo Umali, head of the House panel, said that the two panels still have to come up with a consensus and that they suspended the bicam meeting pending the gathering of more information on how to resolve the cost of implementing the ILP and their implication.
First published on: March 9, 2015 at 5:45 pm
News handpicked by our editors
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.