WHILE government negligence is rearing its ugly head in next summer’s anticipated energy crisis, a laudable private initiative is expected to increase supply in Metro Manila’s power grid. This initiative, called the Interruptible Load Program (ILP), is spearheaded by the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), and supported by huge mall chain SM and other firms.
The ILP involves enlisting companies with generators to disconnect from Meralco’s power system and use those generators once the expected power crisis comes. This aims to prevent power outages that would hurt Juan de la Cruz. So far, total generating capacity of 133 megawatts has been registered into the program, which is supported by the Department of Energy (DOE) for obvious reasons.
Meralco has been enthusiastically encouraging other companies to join the program. Those that have signed up include Robinsons, Rustan’s Supermarket, Shangri-La Plaza, Waltermart, Seda hotel in Bonifacio Global City, Ayala Land and Citystate Center. Big hotels, which have their own generators, are expected to also join, as well as other government offices that have their own power-generating equipment.
In only six months, Meralco was able to get more than what the Visayas and Mindanao got in four years, possibly because the company is invoking a para sa bayan (for the country) campaign. This year ILP has been activated several times, specifically when power plants broke down, resulting in supply deficiency. But this is not enough. Government transparency is needed.
What Meralco is doing para sa
bayan needs support from the government, which it can provide by telling the country the real score, as far as the energy supply is concerned. The DOE should tell the country what to expect next year. It should announce what power plants are expected to be cut off from the power grid, which is due to get repairs next March.
Businessmen, say power-generation companies, or gencos, should not be allowed to let energy prices spike again because of a power crisis. Such a crisis would result in the so-called take-or-pay pricing scenario. So far, the demand side of the private sector has been sacrificing a lot and helping to address the problem and, yet, the government has refused to be transparent.
The actual conditions of power plants must be revealed. Which of them would be offline starting next March? Allowing the gencos to do as they please could hurt the pocketbook of Juan de la Cruz. The question that is on top of the minds of businessmen is this: What is the government actually doing to mitigate the situation? Will it redound to the benefit of everyone without unnecessarily burdening them with high power costs? Or will it mean heavier crosses to bear for the consuming public?
Romero the father vs Romero the son
ALL is not well in the Ducati-riding Romeros. Reghis Romero II and his son Michael are said to have had a falling out, with the younger Romero being stripped of his corporate
responsibilities, save for Globalport, in what is being tweeted as a tit-for-tat situation that could rival any of that found on ABS-CBN’s drama shows.
The family drama has the potential to be a blockbuster and, unless third-party arbitrators come in to settle it, the situation could degenerate into an all-out corporate battle that may need the services of good corporate secretaries, those unheard-of officials in corporations that could tilt the balance, in so far as majority
ownership is concerned.
Big-bike lovers say the father-son breakup started innocently enough, involving a sum of money that the father ordered the son to give to a sibling, a reconciliation and a family get-together outside the country that was extended for two days, an affair that turned out to be a game of one-upmanship.
THERE is something amiss in the financial world. A former bank official says there is a real bank problem that stares the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in the face, and the solution lies in a financial jujitsu that needed the presence of a bank champion who could serve as a white knight to save the floundering financial empire of an old company involved in construction.
The stakes are high and the troubled bank needs to be rescued, and has to cough up pricey lots in its books to be able to save it from more trouble.
Image credits: Benjo Laygo