Zambo traders urge PNoy to declare power crisis

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/11 March) – The Zamboanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc. (ZCCIFI) is urging the President to declare emergency crisis situation amid the power crisis affecting Mindanao.

ZCCIFI president Pedro Rufo Soliven said President Benigno Simeon Aquino III can invoke the provisions of Republic Act 9136, otherwise known as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA), in declaring emergency crisis situation.

Section 71 of EPIRA provides that “upon the determination by the President of the Philippines of an imminent shortage of the supply of electricity, Congress may authorize, through a joint resolution, the establishment of additional generating capacity under such terms and conditions as it may approve,” Soliven cited.

“By invoking Section 71, red tape can be cut and the lengthy procedure in starting a new power project, which normally takes around two years to process, can be shortened,” he said.

Soliven said the present dependable generating capacity to include that of the independent power producers (IPPs) is only 1,616 megawatts with 1,038 MW generated by the Agus and Pulangui hydroelectric power plants.

However, he noted that Department of Energy (DoE) protocol requires a reserve margin of at least 21 percent of the peak demand.

There is a shortfall of 112 MW since the total generation capacity should be 1,728 MW and the present dependable generating capacity is only 1,616 MW, he said.

Mindanao’s peak demand for this year could reach 1,428 MW and the total generation capacity should be 1,728 following DoE’s requirement of reserve margin of 21 percent, he said. (MindaNews)