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Special powers for Philippine president pressed

Publication Date : 04-08-2014


Is President Aquino about to use emergency powers to deal with the looming energy shortage in Luzon in 2015 when several world leaders will come to the Philippines for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit?

A technical report elaborating on his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on July 28 said the government would tap private firms to put up 500- to 600-megawatt power plants by March next year.

Citing Department of Energy (DOE) figures, the report projected an energy shortage of between 400 MW and 1,000 MW for Luzon from March to May 2015,
“resulting in rotating brownouts.”

“Mindanao may experience longer brownouts in 2015 if no new power plants come in,” the report said, but noted that the June 2014 supply would be enough for “the country’s highest projected demand level of 11,943 MW” this year.

The document suggested that the government “invoke Section 71 of Republic Act No. 9136, or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001” in order to deal with the need for additional capacity during the critical period in Luzon in 2015.

“Upon issuance of the joint [congressional] resolution, the government would contract a private proponent to construct capacities equivalent to 500 to 600 MW power plants and operate and maintain the same for a period of five years.”


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