Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares today said that Pres. Aquino’s request for emergency powers means sweetheart deals, corruption, take or pay, and high electricity rates.
“Apologists of Pres. Aquino should not split hairs on this issue and call a spade a spade. The president asked for emergency powers just like Republic Act 7648 during Ramos’ time and the essence of this power is to ask Congress for authority to enter into negotiated contracts for additional generating capacity. But up till now the Department of Energy (DOE) has not sufficiently laid out the reason for emergency powers because as their own data show there is enough power supply,” added Senior Deputy Minority Leader Colmenares.
Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla has pushed for the granting of emergency powers to President Aquino following the secretary’s declaration of a looming power supply shortage next year. On an energy situationer presented by Petilla late July, he said a yellow alert which means that the reserves will be at its lowest but without any blackouts, will be posted mid-March next year.
Last month, Rep. Colmenares said that “deducting dependable capacity from peak demand, there should have been an allowance for reserves amounting to 2,700MW. This is more than the 400 MW deficit that Sec. Petilla claims. Based on the DOE figures itself, even in a tight supply condition, there should be more than enough supply.”
Last Monday, House Committee on Energy Chair and Oriental Mindoro representative Reynaldo Umali saidin a press conference, that the lower house is willing to support the granting of emergency powers to President Aquino.
Colmenares also claimed that the government need not vest Aquino such emergency powers as the former can still tap state-owned power plants like the Malaya and Sucat power plants, both in Luzon, which are yet to be rehabilitated and recommissioned.