MANILA, Philippines – Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito told Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla to resign if he cannot solve the electricity problems in the country.
“I am very alarmed over the country’s inadequate power supply and its high cost because this may eventually cascade into a ‘doomsday’ scenario in power failure,” Ejercito, a member of the Senate Energy Committee said in a statement Monday.
“If Secretary Petilla cannot remedy the power situation, it is best for him to consider giving up his Cabinet post and allow someone with technical capability to manage the Energy sector,” he said.
Most of the appointed officials in the Department of Energy (DOE) lack technical knowledge on energy generation, Ejercito said.
“Last year, we witnessed Petilla’s incapacity firsthand as a technocrat and Energy Secretary when he decided not to run the Malaya power plant. That was the height of the power shortage in Luzon, which caused the spike in power rates last December,” he said.
Ejercito said that there was also no comprehensive energy plan for the Philippines.
Large areas in Mindanao are suffering from rotating power outages lasting several hours due to the energy shortage.
Ejercito further pointed to the high price of energy, among the highest in the Southeast Asian region, as a “major roadblock” to investments in energy for the country.