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Energy security

Lawmakers have called on the Department of Energy to immediately address the threats of power outages in the coming months as the reported unstable power supply of Luzon that is expected to last until August may “stoke inflation and set back the country’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“We are gravely worried that the prospect of red and yellow alerts over the Luzon grid in the weeks ahead might drive up the cost of electricity and put more upward pressure on food prices,” Makati City Rep. Luis Campos Jr. said.

He expressed concern that higher electricity rates – coupled with potential supply disruptions – could adversely affect several power-intensive industries, including food manufacturing and canning as well as cooking oil processing.

Campos said that, as early as mid-April, the National Grip Corp. of the Philippines warned that Luzon could face power supply shortages until August due to base load power plants simultaneously undergoing prolonged maintenance shutdown.

The DOE last week called for the deferment of scheduled maintenance work on large coal power plants to avoid more outages.

Quezon City Rep. Precious Hipolito-Castelo said sufficient electricity supply “is all the more important now that the country is continuously implementing the national rollout of Covid-19 vaccines, which require refrigeration at varying temperatures.”

“The country cannot afford the spoilage of these vaccines arising from lack of electricity, considering that the Covid-19 situation now calls for a more aggressive vaccination drive given the alarming surge in coronavirus infection cases recently,” she noted.

The country needs a stable supply of power during these difficult times. We need it so vaccines can be stored safely all over the country as we attempt to vaccinate our population and achieve herd immunity. We need it to stave off inflation and revive flagging industries and a stagnating economy. We need it to ensure the credibility of the coming elections. The power supply problems being experienced in Luzon needs to be addressed by the DOE and not allowed to worsen while the country is still ramping up and starting to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The country’s power supply is an issue that cannot be allowed to deteriorate further.*

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