Sen. Bam: Brownouts Big Threat to Economy

The looming rotating brownouts and power shortage pose a big threat to the economy, as it could lead to huge business losses and massive worker layoffs

“This is the same thing that happened in Mindanao, where many companies had to close shop and many workers lost their jobs because of the widespread power shortages,” said Sen. Bam Aquino, chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce, and Entrepreneurship.

According to several Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Mindanao, hundreds of millions of pesos were lost due to long brownouts.

“If this happens in Metro Manila and in other business hubs in Luzon, we will surely experience more losses, and many more lives will be affected,” Aquino emphasized.

The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) earlier warned of rotating brownouts and a power shortage after the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) barring the latest power rate hikes.

According to Sen. Aquino, one solution to the power shortage is to make it easier for companies to come in and engage in power generation.

“There are many companies interested in venturing into the power sector, but they are dismayed by the slow and tedious process of getting a permit to operate,” Aquino emphasized.

Aquino underscored that more power plants are needed to ensure the steady supply of electricity, at a lower cost.

“If we have more generating plants, even if four of five shut down, the market should be able to sustain our energy needs,” Sen. Aquino said, adding that prices of electricity will be reduced with the entry of more players into the power sector.

The senator also revealed his plan to investigate whether or not the government is providing enough support to companies who are interested in entering the power sector.

“I intend to investigate this to make sure that new players who want to engage in putting up power plants are given the right support by government,” he said.

The senator stressed that the livelihood of millions of Filipinos should not be dependent on only a few power producers.

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