Gatchalian wants to hold gencos accountable for power outages

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star
Gatchalian wants to hold gencos accountable for power outages
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian
Senate of the Philippines 19th Congress

MANILA, Philippines — Power-generating companies that are unable to provide a stable and steady supply of electricity should be held accountable for outages that result in economic losses, according to Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian.

Gatchalian has called on the Department of Energy and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to audit generation companies that consistently breach the reliability index and, if warranted, impose sanctions against them.

“Any negligence that causes damage to the daily lives of our countrymen and the economy should be appropriately punished so that such incidents do not happen again,” he said in Filipino.

“Generation companies that consistently fail to provide their committed power supply should be held accountable. They should not be allowed to get off the hook easily,” he added.

The senator explained that holding generation companies accountable for power outages is explicitly provided for under ERC Resolution No. 10, series of 2020, which enforces the maximum number of days for the annual unplanned outages in generating assets.

He emphasized this following a power interruption in Negros and Panay sub-grid due to an unplanned outage of Panay Energy Development Corp. (PEDC) Unit 3 last Jan. 17.

Authorities said that the blackout that struck Western Visayas for several days early this year was attributed in part to the unplanned outage of PEDC Units 1 and 2, as well as the Palm Concepcion Power Corp. Unit 1.

Gatchalian earlier called for stiffer penalties against industry players found guilty of mismanaging power-related issues that result in economic losses, emphasizing that any penalty should be commensurate with the economic loss incurred in affected areas.

He noted that in the case of the widespread power outage experienced in Western Visayas for several days, economic losses incurred by both Iloilo province and Iloilo City have reportedly reached P5.7 billion.

Under the reliability index implemented since 2020, for power facilities equipped with pulverized coal technology, their allowable “unavailability” or outages shall be equivalent to 44.7 days – comprising 27.9 days of planned outages and 16.8 days of forced or unplanned outages.

For coal plants running on circulating fluidized bed technology, allowable outages shall be for aggregate 32.3 days with 15.4 days of planned outages and 16.9 days of unplanned outages.

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