Gatchalian cites severity of nationwide grid under red, yellow alerts

MANILA, (PIA) — Senator Win Gatchalian on Thursday cited the severity of the power supply shortages, with the nationwide grid grappling with frequent red and yellow alerts, signaling a critical situation in the energy sector.

Gatchalian, speaking on the issue during the Kapihan sa Senado, explained that a yellow alert indicates a looming brownout, while a red alert signifies areas already experiencing power outages, leading to disruptions in businesses and affecting citizens.

He attributed the alerts to several factors, including plant failures, lack of water supply for hydroelectric power plants, and reduced electricity output from certain plants. He stressed the need for thorough investigation into the root causes of these failures, particularly the forced outages affecting numerous plants.

Pag nag-red alert, meron tayong mga bahagi sa ating bansa na nagba-brownout na. So pag nag-brownout na ‘yan, walang negosyo. At pag walang negosyo, apektado yung ating mga kababayan,” he said.

Kaya ang nakita ko, yung mga dahilan kung bakit nagkakaroon ng red alert. Tatlong dahilan ang nakita namin; Unang-una, maraming plantang pumalya. 47 plants ang nag-forced outage. Totaling to about 3,000 megawatts ang nawala sa sistema natin. From Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao,” he added.

Gatchalian called for proactive measures to address the situation, urging the Department of Energy (DOE) to establish a task force to prepare for worsening conditions. He also advocated for cloud seeding operations to replenish water sources for hydroelectric plants, emphasizing the importance of proactive planning and mitigation strategies.

Responding to questions regarding liability for the power supply issues, Gatchalian emphasized the role of generation companies (GENCOS) in ensuring the reliability of their plants. He noted that penalties exist for GENCOS that fail to meet reliability standards, highlighting the need for accountability in the energy sector.

Regarding potential amendments to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), the senator acknowledged the need for revisions to address shortcomings in the law. While he did not label the EPIRA as a total failure, he emphasized the importance of all stakeholders fulfilling their responsibilities in the power sector.

The ongoing challenges in the energy sector underscore the pressing need for comprehensive reforms and proactive measures to ensure a stable and reliable power supply for the Philippines.

The Department of Energy (DOE) has yet to issue an official statement regarding the power supply situation and potential actions to address the ongoing challenges. (PIA-NCR)

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