President Benigno S. Aquino III has reiterated his appeal to Congress for
the approval of a joint resolution granting the government additional powers
to address the looming energy crisis next year.
“We are hopeful that both
the House (of Representatives) and the Senate will approve the joint
resolution we requested sooner rather than later, in order to give the
national government enough time to contract the necessary reserves,” the
President said during the launch of the SM Solar Project in Quezon City on
The House energy committee last week approved Joint Resolution 21, which
grants the President emergency powers to contract additional generating
capacity to deal with a projected power shortage in Luzon next summer.
President Aquino said he expects the Senate to pass its version as well
and come up with a joint resolution with Congress.
He emphasized the resolution’s importance in ensuring that there would be
no energy shortage next year.
The President acknowledged the initiatives of private companies, such as
the SM Group, in helping the government address energy problems.
“If we do not adjust accordingly, Luzon might experience a shortage of a
minimum of around 300 megawatts, to a maximum of 1,000 megawatts next
summer,” he said.
“This is not a challenge the national government can overcome alone,
which is why we are all working with all sectors to address this issue,” he
He cited in particular the SM Group’s support for the Department of
Energy’s Interruptible Load Program, wherein the group’s retail stores are
expected to deload 57.9 megawatts of power during critical times when supply
falls short of demand in summer.
“This might not be enough to address that shortage, but it is indeed a
very significant step forward, and will hopefully spur other businesses to
follow suit,” he said.
In the long term, President Aquino said the government’s goal is to
“ensure a reliable, preferably clean and reasonably priced, power supply.”
The Energy Department is on its way towards achieving this goal, he said,
citing an additional 5,098 megawatts of power expected to come online
nationwide from 2014 to 2018, and the continuous efforts of government to
encourage investment in power.
He also encouraged the private sector to invest in renewable energy,
which he said the government is ready to incentivize.
“The use of renewable energy sources represents a long-term investment,”
“It plays to our country’s strengths, provides insulation from
fluctuations in the international oil market and thus allows us to be more
self-sufficient, generates savings in terms of electricity costs, and also
contributes to the preservation of the environment and mitigates the effects
of climate change,” he added. PND (jb)