SENATOR Joseph Victor G. Ejercito today expressed relief that the Aquino government finally acknowledged there is an impending energy crisis so the country can face the problem head on.
“Finally Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla admitted that there is a problem and a power crisis looms as I have warned this government years before, but his concrete recommendations to President Aquino must not also force us to pay more in our electricity bills later. His actual proposals must also be doable, practical, cost-efficient and safe,” he said.
Senator Ejercito explained that he is open to grant emergency powers to President Benigno ‘Noynoy” Aquino III to resolve the impending power crisis in 2015 provided that it will be subject to limitations and has safety nets against possible abuse.
“ I am open to give President Noynoy Aquino emergency powers to deal with the impending power crisis in 2015 but only if they can assure us that these will not be abused like what had happened during the Ramos administration wherein independent power producers (IPPs) made a killing by collecting exorbitant power rates from the consumers. On the other hand, a new power plant would take 5 years to build. There’s nothing much we can do in 2 years, except use of emergency power generators which will be expensive to operate,” Senator Ejercito said.
Senator Ejercito said that Sec Petilla must convince the public that his proposal of granting emergency powers to President Aquino will benefit the public more and not the major power players in the energy industry.
He also urged Sec Petilla not to threaten the public to be ready of brownouts during summer next year if President Aquino will not be given emergency powers.
“Blackmailing the public is the last thing that the good secretary must do to deal with the impending power crisis. It will not help us any bit. In the first place, the Aquino government was not able to produce a power plant and did not do anything even with repeated warnings from experts and other stakeholders that there will be a shortage come 2015. The administration has been denying that there is a looming power crisis, now that they have finally admitted, the problem is now very serious that they are asking for emergency powers for the President,” Senator Ejercito said.
Reference: Rikki Kwek-Mathay, Spokesperson/Media Head