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November 11, 2014

GMA 7 NEWS: Lawmaker urges listed firms to join Interruptible Load Program against energy crisis

A party-list lawmaker has asked the 263 corporations listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) to offer to run their standby generators should power reserves breach critical levels from March to July next year.

"We are appealing to all PSE-listed firms to join the Interruptible Load Program (ILP)." said House Deputy Minority Leader and LPG-MA party-list Rep. Arnel Ty said in a statement Sunday.

Under the ILP, large electricity consumers such as malls, office and residential towers, and factories will be asked to operate their own generators when the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines expects the supply of electricity to fall short of demand.

The Philippine Chamber Commerce and Industry estimates that privately-owned backup generators could supply up to 2,000 megawatts (MW).

A supply shortage of at least 700 MW is expected to affect the Luzon grid in the summer months of 2015, when demand peaks because of the hot weather and supply becomes limited due to reduced water pressure at hydropower facilities.

President Benigno Aquino III has asked Congress to pass a joint resolution granting him emergency powers to address the imminent supply shortfall.

House Energy panel chairman Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali hopes to pass the lower chamber's version of the measure authorizing the executive to establish the additional generating capacity through ILP by Dec. 1.

“The ILP has emerged as the preferred coping strategy simply because the reserves are already there, and also because it affords consumers the best protection against the hazard of excessive increases in electricity rates,” Ty said.

Latest data from the Joint Congressional Power Commission show that 911 MW has been committed by private firms under the ILP.

Among the PSE-listed companies that have signed up for the program are Ayala Land Inc., Century Properties Group Inc. Megaworld Corp., and Robinsons Land Corp., and SM Prime Holdings Inc.

Businesses are encouraged to sign up for the ILP on or before Dec. 1 to qualify for reimbursement from the government for fuel expenses and other costs.

The compensation shall not be subject to Value-Added Tax, according to the House’s draft measure. Once the date lapses, private firms that failed to register will not receive compensation should their generators be de-loaded from the grid.

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