Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has called on the Department of Energy (DOE) to ensure that the expected entry of additional 1,196 megawatts (MW) of power supply will be realized during the first half of this year to prevent power interruptions during the summer months.
He noted that a steady power supply is critical for the country to sustain its economic growth “as it is anchored on our capacity to provide electricity supply when and where it is needed.”
Due to this, the senator said the government must ensure that any additional requirement will be met with sufficient supply.
The DOE, in its latest power outlook for Luzon, disclosed that 1,196 MW of committed power generation capacity for Luzon and Visayas will be introduced into the grid this year.
The chairperson of the Senate Energy committee in the previous Congress, Gatchalian said the additional capacity is expected to help cover the projected peak demand this year, which could occur in the last week of May.
“While the energy department has already flagged possible 12 yellow alerts between March and November this year, it needs to ensure that the expected additional supply is attained before demand peaks during the summer months,” he emphasized.
The senator also urged the DOE to ensure that no maintenance shutdown of existing power plants will happen during the peak months to prevent any red alert status which causes rotational brownouts.
At the same time, he said that the government should step up its energy conservation campaign by comprehensively implementing Republic Act No. 11285 or the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act.
The law, which Gatchalian co-authored and sponsored in the Senate, provides for the implementation of a Government Energy Management Program (GEMP) aimed at reducing the government’s monthly consumption of electricity and fuel use of government vehicles.
Also covered in the GEMP are government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), government financial institutions (GFIs), state universities and colleges (SUCs) and local government units (LGUs).