‘Finger-pointing’, blame game won’t solve brownouts – Tulfo

September 7, 2022 Camille P. Balagtas 323 views

IRKED on the “finger-pointing” due to widespread brownout, Senator Raffy Tulfo has urged government agencies and different stakeholders from the energy sector to stop the blame game on issues concerning the persistent and recurring power outages and blackouts in different parts of the country.

During the Senate Committee on Energy Public Hearing presided by Tulfo on Sept. 6, he said that instead of pointing fingers, all parties involved should work together and exert concerted efforts to solve the issue of brownouts and the high cost of electricity.

“Sa mga taga-gobyerno, kasama sa mandato ninyo na hanapan ng solusyon ang mga problemang kinakaharap ng taumbayan, kabilang na dito ang problema sa brownouts. Nakalulungkot po na pagdating dito sa Senado ay nagsisisihan kayo – walang gustong tumanggap ng pagkakamali at lahat pinapasa sa isa pang ahensiya ang sisi,” he said.

“Dapat ay mag-usap-usap kayo at magkaisa para maresolbahan po natin ang problema ng taumbayan. Walang imposible kung lahat ng concerned agencies at stakeholders ay magkakaisa para hanapan ng solusyon ang isang problema, gaano pa man kahirap iyan,” he added.

Tulfo made the statement during the hearing after stakeholders from different energy sectors, cooperatives, and regulators showed a lack of communication between and among them as they failed to admit their shortcomings on issues involving power outages.

For one, no one admitted their shortcomings when Occidental Mindoro Vice Governor Anecita Apigo-Tayag raised her concern about the persistent brownouts in the province, the longest of which reached up to 36 hours.

Department of Energy Secretary (DOE) Secretary Atty. Raphael Lotilla, who was present during the hearing, acknowledged Tulfo’s call to ensure coordination among all involved parties, saying, “This is a difficult time for all of the parties, but we will make sure that there is coordination among agencies.”

Among those who attended the hybrid hearing were representatives from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), National Electrification Administration (NEA), National Power Corporation (NPC), National Transmission Corporation (TRANSCO), Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative, INC (OMECO), and Occidental Mindoro Consolidated Power Corp, to name a few.

Rather than applying a “band-aid” fix, the senator from Isabela maintained that the hearing was conducted to “discover a systemic solution” to the problem.

“Even before I was elected as a Senator, I have already been receiving numerous complaints regarding the persistent and recurring power outages coupled with high electricity rates that had been adversely affecting the economic activities and livelihood of the people in these areas,” he said.

“We are familiar that the energy industry is divided into several sectors, namely, generation, transmission, and distribution. Even though they are distinct and separate industries, each one’s problems affect the others,” he added.

Tulfo has consistently expressed concern about the longstanding and persistent power outages in different provinces that threaten the country’s national security.