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    Palace urged: Investigate Luzon grid’s ‘unexpected’ yellow alert

    An infrastructure-oriented think tank has urged Malacanang to investigate last week’s ‘sudden and unexpected’ yellow alert over the Luzon grid amid growing concerns over energy and water supply in Metro Manila.
        “President Rodrigo Duterte should not allow a double whammy of a supply crisis in Metro Manila: no water in our faucets, and no lights in our homes," said  Terry Ridon, Infrawatch PH convenor and Mr Duterte’s former urban poor chief.
    Ensure adequate power supply for the summer months
        Ridon, previously a member of the House energy committee, called on Malacanang to undertake an inventory of all available available capacity for the duration of the summer months.
        “The President should be informed on all unexpected shutdowns and limited generation of some power plants to allow the Palace to undertake measures to ensure adequate supply and limit costs arising from the use of the spot market.”
    Public should not be made to pay for higher spot market prices due to unexpected shutdowns
        Ridon said the public should not be made to pay for higher spot market prices due to unexpected shutdowns and limited power generation of some power plants.
        “A necessary consequence for any yellow alert is the prospect of higher electricity costs due to the use of the electricity spot market. Malacanang should undertake a new energy policy prohibiting the pass-on of higher electricity prices due to unexpected shutdowns and limited generation.”
        Ridon said higher electricity prices from higher spot market prices should be borne either by government through emergency subsidies or by power generators involved in unexpected shutdowns or limited generation.
    Avoid another yellow alert
        “More importantly, Malacanang should take the lead in avoiding another yellow alert in the coming days. We are certain that the public will not look kindly on a ‘no-water, no-light’ situation, particularly during these summer months, and also as the midterm election draws near.
        Ridon also said that Malacanang should also watch out for unscrupulous players that might exploit the limited power supply situation.
        “What we fear the most would be a repeat of the 2013 power price spike that had been mostly blamed on the use of the spot market due to unexpected limited capacity.”
        Ridon said it would be unforgivable to ‘find ourselves in the same situation’ given government’s previous experience in 2013, and the presently available government resources to prevent its repeat.

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