DOE: No brownouts this summer
An official of the Department of Energy (DOE) has ruled out the possibility of having brownouts during the summer months this year.
Energy Assistant Secretary Gerardo Erguiza Jr. gave the assurance after Senator Sherwin Gatchalian’s repeated questioning during the hearing of the Senate committee on energy on Wednesday.
Noting the number of certificates of compliance (COCs) and provisional authority to operate (PAO) that the Energy Regulatory Commission could approve in 60 days, Gatchalian then asked the Energy official if the period would be enough to prevent brownouts this coming summer.
The senator was referring to the 60-day temporary restraining order that the Court of Appeals has issued against the suspension of all four ERC commissioners.
The Office of the Ombudsman suspended the commissioners for one year for allowing electric utilities like Manila Electric Company to forgo the bidding of their power supply requirements.
“We do the planning and all of these are included in the implementation where we have to satisfy certain needs at a particular time. So at this point, as stated by the Secretary, we still don’t have problems,” Erquiza said in response to Gatchalian’s query.
But the senator went on, reminding the official that the demand for electricity usually increases by 15 to 20 percent during summer.
“With all these COCs, PAOs being approved, in your forecast sufficient na ba ito para hindi tayo magkaroon ng brownout this coming March, April?“ the senator asked.
“As of now wala po kaming nakikitang problema, but of course, we need to be addressing the situation,” said Erguiza.
“So far, in our estimate, ok pa naman po,” the official added when further pressed by the senator.
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