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Saturday, Sep 6, 2014

Asia

Palace waiting for Aquino on emergency powers

Saturday, Sep 6, 2014

President Aquino.

Malacañang on Friday said it is still awaiting word from President Benigno Aquino III if he would seek emergency powers from Congress to deal with the looming energy crisis next year.

"Let us wait for the statement of the President with respect to that…One thing that we want to emphasise is that we are going to proactively handle the situation. That's why we're recognising all the concerns of the power sector, as well as the stakeholders, including the citizens. But as to the final decision of the President, let's just wait for him to issue a directive to the Department of Energy," presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.

Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla the other day said the President was seriously considering taking on emergency powers.

Asked if the President would reach a decision this month, Lacierda said he would have to "clarify" with Petilla if there was a timetable for such.

"But, certainly, what we are very aware of is the urgency of the situation. The President has been informed already about the energy situation in the past months even before the Sona [State of the Nation Address]," Lacierda said.

The country is expected to face power shortage next year as a result of the growing demand for electricity brought by the booming economy, but for which government apparently failed to prepare for.

The Sona Technical Report projected an energy shortage of between 400 MW and 1,000 MW for Luzon from March to May 2015 that could result in rotating brownouts.

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