Palace: Emergency powers for Aquino still being studied

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III has no decision yet on the proposal of Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla for him to have emergency powers to address the looming power shortage by next year, a Palace official said Thursday.

Aquino instead ordered the Department of Energy (DOE) to review the projected demand and supply of electricity in Luzon for 2015, as well as all available options to deal with a possible power shortfall in the summer months, said Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. during the daily press briefing.

"Ongoing pa iyong pag-aaral at ilalahad ang pagpapasya ng Pangulo kapag nakumpleto na ang pag-aaral na hiningi niya hinggil dito," he said when asked if there was a decision already on Petilla's proposal for Aquino to have emergency powers.

Aquino met with Petilla on Wednesday where they discussed the power situation in the country and the Cabinet official's proposal for the President to have emergency powers amid the problem on electricity supply next year.

The DOE has projected that there will be a power shortage from March to May next year, as the demand for electricity increases during summer.

Coloma assured that the government would not pass on to consumers the costs of increasing next year's power supply, as what happened in the early 1990s.

"Siya (Petilla) na mismo ang nagsasabi na base sa kanyang simulations, hindi naman ito inaasahang hahantong sa mas mataas na pagsingil," he said.

"Ibang iba naman ang sitwasyon noon dahil mas malawak at malalim ang kakulangan noong panahong iyon. Ngayon naman ay limited extent and limited duration lamang ang ina-address ni Secretary Petilla," he added.

The Communication Secretary said that the government will ensure a stable power supply at reasonable rates for next year.

"Sa lahat ng pagkakataon, ang isasaalang-alang ng pamahalaan ay ang kapakanan ng mga mamamayan at ang hindi pagpataw ng dagdag na pabigat sa kanila dahil dito," he said. (SDR/Sunnex)

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