Press Release
January 20, 2022


Senator Risa Hontiveros urged the Energy Regulatory Commission to ensure that there will be no power interruptions during the election period so as not to compromise the integrity and credibility of the upcoming elections.

"Kailangang matiyak na tuluy-tuloy ang suplay ng kuryente sa bansa ngayong darating na halalan. Failure to ensure an uninterrupted power supply will compromise the integrity of our elections," she said.

Hontiveros made the call after the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) forecast that the Luzon grid will go on a red alert status anytime in April to June, possibly affecting the elections.

The Senator reminded the Department of Energy (DOE) of its assurance that there will be an adequate and reliable supply of electricity before, during and after May 9, 2022.

Hontiveros stated that the energy players must have already identified safety measures so that the red alert status last May and June 2021 due to the deratings of Malampaya and unplanned shutdown of several power plants will not happen again.

"Paano tayo makakatiyak na may kuryente at hindi maantala ang schedule ng pagboto ng ating mga kababayan? Unstable power supply can pushed back voting time and can delay the transmission of voting results from the polling precincts to the servers," Hontiveros said.

She recalled that industry players and the DOE during the previous Senate hearings had already come up with the supposed solutions such as firm ancillary services contracts on the part of NGCP and prevention of unplanned maintenance shutdown on the part of the generation companies.

"Does the red alert warning indicate that those previously identified solutions will no longer work? Kailangang magkaroon ng strict coordination at team work ang DOE, ERC at iba pang sektor sa power para masolusyunan ang taon-taon na lang na problemang ito," Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros then reiterated her call to revisit the implementation of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) that should have solved the perennial problem of unreliable and high cost of electricity in the country.

"Building more renewable and flexible power plants could be the ultimate solution. But that would require a paradigm shift by the next administration." she said.

"Dalawang dekada na ang EPIRA pero ganito pa rin tayo taon-taon. Binigo na nga tayo nito, mas pinalala pa ng kawalan ng kontrol ng gobyerno sa ating power industry. Hindi lang buhay at kabuhayan ang naaapektuhan dahil sa pawala-walang kuryente, pati na ang pinakaimportanteng aspeto ng ating demokrasya," she concluded.

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