Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian launches probe on Palawan brownouts, NEA charter
Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian has filed a Senate resolution for a more in-depth investigation on Palawan’s frequent brownouts and the performance of the National Electrification Administration (NEA) as the regulator of electric cooperatives (ECs).
He said he was unsatisfied by the “shallow” probe conducted by the NEA on the frequency of brownouts in Palawan since January.
“During the first six months of this year, Palawan residents suffered through an average of 13 brownout hours during 10 power interruptions per month. The Senate must exercise its oversight powers to hold stakeholders accountable and finally put an end to this mess,” said Gatchalian, the Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee.
The Senate committee initiated a formal dialogue held by the Energy Committee with Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO), NEA, and private energy stakeholders last August 3.
It was discovered that the frequent brownouts in Puerto Princesa City were caused by the inability of DMCI Power Corp. to provide 25 megawatts of electricity pledged under its 2012 power supply agreement with PALECO.
With that, the committee directed NEA to conduct an investigation into the matter. But NEA’s report was “unsatisfactory as it failed to provide new information and specific action steps to put a stop to Palwan’s frequent brownouts,” Gatchalian said.