Hontiveros tells DOE, NGCP to 'step up,' be transparent with power outlook

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 10) — Senator Risa Hontiveros said energy stakeholders should tackle the country's power woes head on, adding that issues concerning power and electricity rates should be made transparent following recent unexpected power outages across several parts of the country.

"Taon-taon na lang problema ang blackouts at kakulangan ng suplay," Hontiveros said in a statement on Wednesday. "Taon-taon na rin pinananawagan sa DOE at NGCP na kumilos sila pero bakit parang wala pa ring nangyayari?"

"Both of these agencies should step up and put an end to this energy crisis once and for all," she added.

[Translation: Every year the problem has always been the lack of supply and blackouts. Every year we call on the DOE and the NGCP to act on these matters but nothing ever happens. Both of these agencies should step up and put an end to this energy crisis once and for all.]

On Monday, Luzon was put under a red alert for several hours, meaning there was insufficient power to meet demand. This resulted in power outages in several areas. The alert was eventually lifted at 8 p.m. the same day.

RELATED: NGCP: 10-year-plan needed to build plants, answer power demand

In April, it was reported that the Visayas grid would continue to experience system disturbances which would lead to power outages specifically in parts of Panay Island.

Hontiveros said both the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines and the Department of Energy should be honest when talking about the state of the country's power supply to prepare consumers.

"Baka mangako na naman na gaganda ang sitwasyon pero puro blackouts at taas-singil pa rin," she said. "Our consumers deserve to be informed and notified. Hindi bibiglain na naman."

[Translation: The might promise again that the situation will improve but then we continue to have blackouts and high electricity costs. Our consumers deserve to be informed and notified and not be taken by surprise.]

On Tuesday, the DOE said more yellow alerts are seen to happen this month as the Ilijan natural gas plant in Batangas is undergoing repairs and is expected to be online by May 26.

In her statement, Hontiveros said the Senate may have been "taken for a ride" by energy officials, specifically Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla, who earlier assured that power supply for the year would be sufficient.

She added that El Niño could worsen the power shortage and negatively impact prices.

The senator also said these issues could lend credence to the argument that nuclear power could be the only solution to supply problems when the government should instead focus on the development and distribution of renewable energy systems.