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Power situation in PH ‘manageable’ amid El Niño, says ex-energy chief

/ 06:41 PM September 09, 2015
Department of Energy Sec. Jericho Petilla. INQUIRER file photo.

Former Department of Energy Sec. Jericho Petilla. INQUIRER file photo.

Former Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla on Wednesday said the country has sufficient supply of electricity amid an ongoing El Niño phenomenon, but stressed the importance of continuous monitoring.

Petilla said the power situation in the country was “manageable” especially in Luzon, which does not heavily depend on hydropower.

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But despite the “manageable” situation, Petilla emphasized the need to monitor existing generating capacity in preparation for El Niño’s impact particularly in areas in Mindanao, which has been relying on hydroelectric power plants.

“There’s a need to prepare for El Niño because it is expected to last up to next year. There are alternative sources like diesel power plants which can be tapped by electric cooperatives,” Petilla said in a breakfast forum in Manila.

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Noting that Mindanao cannot solely rely on water rationed by authorities, Petilla said electric cooperatives should start contracting enough capacity as early as now, even if the effects of El Niño are still not being felt so that they would not be caught off guard next year.

Petilla also urged consumers to practice power conservation measures, such as setting the thermostat of air conditioners at 25 degrees Celsius, which he said could slash a household’s energy consumption by as much as 30 percent.

Petilla, who was said to be short-listed in the Liberal Party’s senatorial lineup, resigned from the Aquino Cabinet in April. Yuji Vincent Gonzales/JE

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TAGS: Department of Energy, DoE, El Niño, Jericho Petilla, Power supply
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