Osmeña backs emergency powers for Aquino

Posted at 07/23/14 11:01 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Senator Serge Osmeña says granting emergency powers to President Aquino may be the only solution to the country's energy woes.

Osmeña, the chairman of the Senate committee on energy, explains emergency powers will allow the government to fast track the construction of a back-up power mechanism to help avert a looming power crisis.

But he notes Congress will need to put limits on emergency powers.

"I would want him to have emergency powers because that's the only solution... We are going to have to contract new plants... We're going to be in a crisis the moment we have rolling brownouts next summer," he told ANC's Headstart.

"It will solve the shortage if he brings in generating sets. We can make it operational, six months to one year but it's going to be horrendously expensive."

Osmeña says Malacañang should have addressed the power problem earlier, since a shortage has been threatening the country since 2010.

He adds not a single power plant was built since the President took office.

The senator also says it's time for the President to replace Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla.

"I'd like the President to put a better guy. If you don't perform, kumbaga sa NBA, if you're not delivering the points, making the rebounds and blocks, then I'll have to change you. And calling a crisis now isn't that enough proof? what else do you want a world war," Osmeña said. - ANC