DOE, NGCP rapped over power shortages

Photo from Senator Risa Hontiveros Facebook page

Senator Risa Hontiveros on Wednesday called out the Department of Energy (DOE), the Energy Regulatory Commission, and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) for their handling of the nation’s power supply issues.

The senator voiced deep frustration over the agencies’ “continued failure” to resolve escalating energy problems, particularly this summer.

“Parang kulang sa energy ang mismong Department of Energy at puro kabig naman ang NGCP. DOE’s mandate demands foresight and competence to ensure adequacy of current and future power supply while the NGCP secures the whole system from disturbances, including unplanned and forced outages. Proactive tayo dapat,” Hontiveros stated during a press conference.

She further criticized the DOE and NGCP for their inactivity, urging immediate action. “They cannot go on giving us nothing. Kumilos naman sila,” she added.

Senator Hontiveros recommended that the DOE revert to using the Loss of Load Probability (LOLP), a method previously utilized before the enactment of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA). She highlighted that this method offers a distinct advantage in forecasting power supply availability. “Right now, the agency is computing with a fixed 25 percent reserve, but it hasn’t been reliable, especially during this summer season,” she explained.

LOLP measures the reliability performance of the power supply system by forecasting the number of days a brownout could occur annually. Hontiveros noted that a more diligent application of LOLP could prevent the frequent yellow and red alerts currently experienced.

The senator also criticized the NGCP for not fully committing to system security, revealing that according to April data from TransCo, NGCP contracted only partially for regulating, contingency, and dispatchable reserves. “Bakit hindi 100%? Pareho din lang ba sila sa DOE na nagdadasal na walang titirik na planta along the way?” she questioned, challenging NGCP’s focus on fiscal dividends over operational integrity.

Hontiveros called for the DOE to engage experts to reimplement LOLP in planning the country’s power supply, emphasizing the need for action over prayer in crisis anticipation. “Hindi sapat magdasal para hindi mag-shut down ang mga power plants natin, kailangang kumilos ang DOE batay sa probabilidad at pleksibilidad na maaring gawin in anticipation of a crisis situation,” she concluded.