BEHIND THE LINES: The President has spoken PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 06 November 2014 13:14

BY BOB JALDON

 

San Jose, CA. — The U.S. is on Daylight Savings Time (DST). That means that the time has been set-back by one hour. Maybe, DST, as we practiced it during the Marcosian era to save on fuel (as there was an oil embargo imposed by Middle East countries) should be practiced by the government so we can bring down the cost of fuel and avert a fuel-cost-adjustment in our monthly bill when a power crisis strikes.

In the U.S. gas prices are falling at meteor speed. TIME says that after years to triple-digit prices, “the cost of a barrel of crude oil has dropped more than 20 percent from its $115 level in June to around $85, and there’s every indication that it will keep on sliding.” Consider these factors: The U.S. now generates over 8.5 million barrels of oil per day, nearly twice as much it produced six years ago; and Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer, said that it will not cut oil production.

Sadly, the Philippines is not an oil-producing country, unless the oil explorations off Palawan Sea proves successful in the next few years. But, we should experiment on reimposing DST for, say, three months while our government is finding concrete solutions to the impending power crisis.

During the Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, Inc. forum and 118th General Membership Meeting in Makati recently, President Aquino revealed that time is running thin for his administration to rent generating plants as the private sector and Congress were insisting on the use of the interruptible load program (ILP) which “might not be enough to address a possible power shortage.” The government is operating both Malaya 1 and 2, which are dying, old plants. The president said that upon advisement, using thermal plants to their full capacity will create more problems because it will require two million liters of fuel per day and the capacity to re-supply these fuel farms run at 600,000 liters of fuel per day.

He said: “If we run them at full capacity of about 300 megawatts each, there is a 90 percent probability that they will conk out.” Aquino declared further that members of Congress and businessmen were inclined to utilize the ILP. “My caution was these back-up generators are precisely that— back-up generators — not base-load plants (like the soon-to-be built San Ramon Power Plant). The reason why we want the base load plants was precisely because they have demonstrated capacity to produce the attendant power,” the president argued. (City Councilors and non-believers, get a load of this.)

In this manner, SRPI is trying to put a finger in the dike by building an 8-billion-peso base load power plant in Zamboanga so we would finally achieve “power independence” for the next 25 years and beyond. When power outages occur, the Alsons Power Group has promised to provide electricity to Zamboanga through its diesel plant in Sangali and Iligan city.

The president has spoken. Should we not follow?

Cosa pa man quita quiere?