By Mario Casayuran
The Senate energy committee assured on Wednesday that there would be no brownouts in the coming summer months throughout the country.
Sen. Sherwin T. Gatchalian, committee chairman, gave this assurance after a four-hour public hearing on his Senate Bill No. 1490 that seeks to strengthen the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
Gatchalian welcomed the return of four suspended commissioners to the ERC hoping that they would resolve in the next 60 days many stranded contracts worth P1.5 trillion.
The 60 days refer to the effectivity of the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Court of Appeals that temporarily stopped the suspension of four ERC commissioners on corruption charges.
“In the next 60 days, anything can happen. It is up to the (suspended) commissioners to defend themselves,’’ Gatchalian said.
During the committee hearing, ERC officials assured the Senate committee that they would try to resolve two contracts in the next 60 days.
Pending in the ERC are contracts and certificates of compliance.
Energy officials, according to Gatchalian, assured that there would be no power supply shortage this coming summer.
What has been approved or to be approved by ERC are power contracts that would supply 1,500 megawatts (MWs), he said.
Gatchalian said Luzon’s power requirement is 13,000 MWs. For the entire country. it is 16,000 to 17,000 MWs.
These requirements would be covered, he added.
Gatchalian said there was a meeting of the minds among officials belonging to energy-related offices to help iron out his bill that would hopefully stop power plays, corruption, suspensions and politicking in the ERC.