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Emergency powers turns the power crisis to an environmental one

Last Tuesday, the House Committee on Energy headed by Rep. Rey Umali lost its backbone and gave way to the wishes of the Executive to grant President Aquino emergency powers. House Joint Resolution 21 was passed with one negative vote to supposedly address a lack of power in 2015.

The decision was surprising since it appears that Sec. Jericho Petilla failed to present a convincing argument to support his doomsday scenario that there will be a massive shortage in power next year. The committee correctly removed Petilla's request for 6-12 billion pesos to rent or to buy modular generating sets from the resolution.

POWER or the People Opposed to unWarranted Electricity Rates presented a position paper at the hearing prior to the approval of the majority. Former congressman Teddy Casino of POWER told the committee that the said request of Petilla “unecessary, expensive and dangerous for consumers and taxpayers”.

Author: 
Giovanni Tapang, Ph.D.

Manufactured crisis?

At the hearing of the House Committee on Energy Committee last Monday, Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Director Irma Exconde presented the updated Luzon Supply-Demand Outlook and revealed that the supposed shortage in power supply in 2015 is but a thinning of reserves in April instead of the scenario earlier painted by DOE Secretary Jericho Petilla.

The hearing was held to discuss the joint resolution granting President Aquino emergency powers to address the supposed looming power shortage in Luzon in 2015. The granting of emergency powers was being insisted on by Petilla shortly before the State of the Nation Address of the President this year.

Author: 
Giovanni Tapang, Ph.D.

Convert the LRT/MRT into a real mass transport solution

Last week’s accident at the Taft station of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (Yellow line) was a reminder of the sorry state of mass transport in Metro Manila. While the Department of Transportation and Communication’s (DOTC) investigation pointed to human error as the main reason for the accident, the statements of DOTC Secretary Abaya on the accident raises more questions than the answer that he provided.

For example, why are the drivers in question still hired as contractual employees when they have been with the company for six years already? These employees would now be facing administrative charges and could possibly be removed from office due to the incident yet every six months (according to Abaya), they face the same problem whenever their contracts are being renewed.

Author: 
Giovanni Tapang, Ph.D.

Group reiterates call to halt Jalaur Dam Project implementation

Scientist group Agham Advocates of Science and Technology for the People (Agham) reiterates its recommendation that construction of the Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Phase II (JRMPP) be stopped on questionable social and geological grounds as revealed in the investigation missions conducted by the organization in 2012 and 2014.

In the July 2014 Agham study, it was confirmed that there were lapses in the conduct of Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) process, a requisite for development projects within ancestral domains of indigenous peoples. Also, risks and possible negative impacts were still not addressed and were not communicated to the stakeholders.

Group decries power rate hike to fund renewable energy business

Scientist group Agham Advocates of Science and Technology slam the proposed rate hike that is said to provide incentives to Renewable Energy producers and would take effect this August. According to the group, consumers must not be burdened with additional electricity costs regardless if the source is renewable or not.

“The added cost of electricity coming from renewable energy sources must not be passed on to consumers. While renewable energy development in the country must be encouraged, it is the task of the government to provide for affordable, reliable and clean energy without adding another burden to the already impoverished population,” said Archie Orillosa, electrical engineer from Agham.

The National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) have sought the Energy Regulatory Commission to charge consumers an additional four centavos per kilowatt hour that is said to go to the feed in tariff allowance (FIT All).

Emergency Powers

Amidst the news of cases of impeachment being filed against President Aquino because of his acts in his Disbursement Acceleration Program and the destruction wrought by Typhoon Glenda, Department of Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla announced that he recommended that the president seek emergency powers under Section 71 of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA). Secretary Petilla warned of an impending power crisis come summer of 2015 if this problem is not addressed.

It turns out that this threat of emergency powers stem from the inability of Petilla (and the government) to convince the Philippine Independent Power Producers Association (PIPPA) to plug in the 400-500 MW power deficit in 2015. Petilla met with the PIPPA last Tuesday and got no commitment from them on how to fill up the deficit.

Author: 
Dr. Giovanni Tapang

Of typhoons and the DAP

Of typhoons and the DAP
July 16, 2014 10:53 pm

The power went out shortly after I started writing this column early Wednesday morning. It is during these times that you appreciate battery packs and the foresight to charge electronic gadgets. It is also the time you discover the creaking and whistling that your house can produce as the winds of Typhoon Glenda blew through it like a musical instrument. At 4 in the morning, the rain outside and the glow of the monitor in one’s face can drive the imagination enough to scare oneself.

Author: 
Giovanni Tapang, Ph.D.

Power over electric power

The House of Representatives leadership signified a few days ago its willingness to give President Aquino emergency power under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA). The EPIRA allows government under section 71 to acquire additional energy capacity and enter into contracts during crisis situations. This will be done through a joint resolution of both the House and the Senate under the law.

Bayan Muna representative NeriColmenares questioned the basis of the Department of Energy (DOE) for saying that there will be a power supply shortage as he pointed out that “there is no hard evidence that there would indeed be a power crisis next year.” He feared that the billions for such emergency procurement for additional power generation would be sourced from the controversial Malampaya funds on top of possible pass-on costs to consumers.

Author: 
Giovanni Tapang, Ph.D.

Manufactured crisis?

At the hearing of the House Committee on Energy Committee last Monday, Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Director Irma Exconde presented the updated Luzon Supply-Demand Outlook and revealed that the supposed shortage in power supply in 2015 is but a thinning of reserves in April instead of the scenario earlier painted by DOE Secretary Jericho Petilla.

The hearing was held to discuss the joint resolution granting President Aquino emergency powers to address the supposed looming power shortage in Luzon in 2015. The granting of emergency powers was being insisted on by Petilla shortly before the State of the Nation Address of the President this year.

Author: 
Giovanni Tapang, Ph.D.

Power over electric power

The House of Representatives leadership signified a few days ago its willingness to give President Aquino emergency power under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA). The EPIRA allows government under section 71 to acquire additional energy capacity and enter into contracts during crisis situations. This will be done through a joint resolution of both the House and the Senate under the law.
Bayan Muna representative NeriColmenares questioned the basis of the Department of Energy (DOE) for saying that there will be a power supply shortage as he pointed out that “there is no hard evidence that there would indeed be a power crisis next year.” He feared that the billions for such emergency procurement for additional power generation would be sourced from the controversial Malampaya funds on top of possible pass-on costs to consumers.

Author: 
Giovanni Tapang, Ph.D.
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