TUCP warns Petilla
of “pimps and whisperers” on power crisis
July 31, 2014
QUEZON CITY – The
Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) warned Energy Secretary
Jericho Petilla to be cautious of vested interests in handling the
proposed emergency powers to address the looming energy crisis.
“The TUCP warns that the
power emergency of Icot Petilla is now opening doors for salesmen,
opportunists and pirates of all stripes peddling very expensive power
solutions that will preserve the prerogatives of the private
independent generation sector who seemingly willed the power shortage
to existence,” said Louie Corral, TUCP executive director.
He said the TUCP received
reliable information suggesting that Petilla is being swarmed by some
interest groups to offer to President Aquino power solutions that will
make people pay more for their electricity.
“We support emergency powers
for the President, but it must be based on clear policies of what
constitutes “secure power” and what government means as “competitive
power rates”. The DOE secretary is now on sifting sands, first he
wants to buy generator sets, now, he says he wants to commercially
rent power barges for 3 years which will run only for 20 days. Which
is which? How much is Juan dela Cruz paying? What is the game plan?”
He added that the country is
faced by a financial triple whammy – as consumers, as taxpayers, and
through a damaged economy “that is why TUCP cautions Secretary Petilla
to institute a clear, categorical timetable for the consultations that
President Aquino directed DOE to undertake during his SONA.”
Corral said Petilla should
refrain from scaremongering and giving the President a deadline but
rather ensure that consultations are transparent and the policies that
are arrived at must be acceptable to the economic cluster of the
cabinet, to businessmen and the workers and consumers who will bear
the burden. “Maraming aninong gumagalaw at maraming bumubulong na
pagkakitaan ang krisis na ito. Kung kaya’t pinag-iingat namin ang
butihing kalihim,” he said.
Meanwhile, TUCP spokesperson
Alan Tanjusay said the TUCP is prepared to join the process now
directed by Aquino to help solve the problem.
“If Secretary Petilla does
not make the consultation transparent and time-bound, we will not just
have a failure but a failure of governance. The economic legacy of the
Aquino administration is what at stake. In bearing the ultimate
command responsibility, he must look at a full-options approach to
solving the problem rather than just the narrow suggestions being
eagerly whispered to his ears,” Tanjusay said.
Tanjusay added that TUCP was
the first group to ask Aquino to declare a national emergency on the
power sector in April this year. He said they asked for Aquino to
establish a presidential task force to address the problem of lack of
power and the spiraling power rates.
The TUCP is also proposing
to Aquino for government to return to power generation business until
there is at least 20% reserve in all island grids.