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LKI PRESS STATEMENT 2021-022
Laban Konsyumer opts for Anti Red Tape Authority or ARTA as INDEPENDENT PROBER FOR POWER PLANT OUTAGES INVESTIGATION,
Consumer advocacy group Laban Konsyumer Inc. (LKI) led by its President Atty. Vic Dimagiba attended and participated the recent House Committee on Energy Hearing last Friday to call out DOE and NGCP on the recent string of rotational brownouts hitting and affecting the country earlier in the week.
On the question raised by Bayan Muna whether there are stranded capacities that the grid could still use to prevent brownouts, the answer is Yes.
There is the pending for approval of a request for Power Supply Agreement extension of 200 MW in DOE to mitigate high WESM prices for the rest of Summer. The peak of WESM prices in the past two weeks of May is Php 16 pesos per kwh vs Php 5 pesos per kwh of the pending capacity in DOE. That’s a whooping PHp 11.00 pkwh savings that sits in DOE and should benefit consumers.
The Department of Energy or DOE should be part of the entity to be investigated. BUT with a Memorandum of Agreement with the Philippine Competition Commission, and that the Department of Justice or DOJ is co-chair of the Oil Task Force, Laban Konsyumer is batting that ARTA should be the independent prober . Dimagiba added that the Energy Regulatory Commission defers to ARTA in the probe.
Dimagiba explained that “Also we would like to point out that the DOE mismanaged the peak quarter data submitted in the House hearing. For those who followed the news from the April 27 JCEC hearing, the GOMP for the 2nd quarter posted in the NGCP website was dated April 15 but uploaded only in April 21.
It was clearer that red alerts are planned from May 28 to June 10. However, DOE used an April 14, 2021 that shows no red alert forecasts, washed its hands and blamed power plant owners.
The consumer group stated that “the 2nd quarter graph of Director Marasigan of DOE was dated April 14. But on the NGCP website uploaded 2nd qtr. forecast showed April 15, also showing 3 red alerts including May 28 to June 10. That is why during the entire proceedings and hearing, we sent chat messages in the house hearing to regulators, stakeholders, some Members of Congress and media for everybody “to find solutions that consumers should not bear the brunt of power rate increases due to the red alert and brownouts “.
The investigation by ARTA should include all the 17 power plant owners earlier issued notices of violation by the ERC. ERC should defer to ARTA to ensure the probe by an impartial judge.