Powerful 'Emergency Powers' Pushed

Manila Bulletin, November 9, 2014 | Go to article overview

Powerful 'Emergency Powers' Pushed


The proposed emergency powers for President Aquino to address tight electricity supply next year had already been scaled down, but it is still viewed to be heavy-handed due to its provision on suspension of some operative laws governing the power industry. [caption id="attachment_203215" align="alignnone" width="720"] MB file photo[/caption] In the draft joint resolution circulated by Congress last week, it was prescribed that all national government agencies and local government units are authorized to suspend the operability of pertinent laws, rules and regulations. A colatilla had been set, but it was further noted that it shall include, but not limited to Republic Act 9367 or the Biofuels Act; RA 8479 also known as the Clean Air Act, the Philippine Grid Code, and the Distribution Code, that may affect the operation of the contracted generation capacities to ensure the timely commissioning of the additional capacities contracted under the Joint Resolution. If left unmanaged, the suspension of laws is being seen as a dangerous proposition, hence the boundaries and parameters must be defined; and that the technical impacts must be assessed. The lease or purchase of generating sets (gensets) from foreign suppliers had been dropped from the roll of options, and the modified emergency powers had taken preference on just tapping capacities that may be offered by locally operated gensets to become part of the government-underpinned interruptible load program or ILP. The joint resolution of Congress primarily heeded the forecast of the Department of Energy (DOE) of a worst case scenario that may result in shortfall of 700 megawatts in the reserve requirements of the power system. …

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