Bato tells energy stakeholders: Cooperate fully in Senate probe to address Panay power crisis

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Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa has urged the stakeholders from the energy sector to fully cooperate with the Senate Energy Committee’s investigation into the recent blackout in the island province of Panay which affected the livelihood and everyday lives of thousands of Ilonggos.

“I am asking for your full cooperation, your utmost cooperation on this matter para ma-address natin itong problema na ito. Kami, naka-break kami ngayon, balikan lang kami sa Senado dahil napaka-importante nito. Huwag natin sayangin itong oportunidad na ma-address natin itong issue na ito with this hearing,” Dela Rosa said during the Senate hearing on Tuesday. 

Dela Rosa is one of the senators who filed a resolution which seeks an investigation in aid of legislation into the massive blackout that brought inconvenience in several parts of Western Visayas last week. 

The senator filed the resolution with the end in view of improving the quality of life in Western Visayas through sustainable, adequate and secure energy. 

In filing proposed Senate Resolution 901, Dela Rosa stressed the need to ensure that no similar events of rotational brownouts and power interruptions shall occur in the region. 

The Mindanaoan lawmaker pointed out that these power outages not only undermine the access of Ilonggos to continuous and adequate supply of energy, but also has a direct economic impact. 

“It is necessary to determine the adequacy of laws, rules and regulations being implemented by the Department of Energy and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines in addressing the power blackout and unstable supply in Panay and Guimaras Islands,” Dela Rosa said in his resolution. 

He cited the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Iloilo Chapter’s statement that the frequent power outages posed significant challenges which could compromise productivity and operational efficiency. This could also lead to decline in the overall economy and hinder the city’s job creation efforts. 

During the hearing, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas said that the four-day blackout in the city has caused P2 billion economic losses while Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor said the economic losses in the province due to the latest blackout was at P3.8 billion

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