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Energy outlook for 2023 under review amid volatile gas market

THE PHILIPPINES will have sufficient power until December, though the outlook for 2023 will need to be reviewed because of volatility in the gas market, Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla said.

Addressing the Senate Energy committee on Tuesday, Mr. Lotilla said “we have enough power supply only up until the end of this year. But we are reviewing the outlook because we have lost the fuel (for) Ilijan.”

In July, the Ilijan gas-fired power plant in Batangas shut down in the absence of fuel from the soon-to-be-depleted Malampaya gas field.

“We are very exposed to the volatility of fuel prices.  There are issues involving generation, transmission, and distribution as well,” Mr. Lotilla added.

“The reason we are here is the continuous power outages in some areas. The DoE said we have enough power supply, the consumers are sick and tired of the situation,” Senator Rafael T. Tulfo said during the hearing.

The hearing, presided over by Mr. Tulfo, was called to address recurring power outages and rotational blackouts, particularly in Mindoro. The provinces of Occidental and Oriental Mindoro are undergoing up to 14 hours of power outages per day.

“There is more than one player in the energy supply chain, it is not only the electric cooperative that is causing the interruption, there is also the generation, and transmission sector,” Janeene D. Colingan, the executive director and general manager of the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association, Inc., said.

Mr. Lotilla said he has tasked Assistant Secretary Mario C. Marasigan in organizing a response with the various agencies involved. — Ashley Erika O. Jose

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