Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said Thursday said the two-day rotating brownouts in Luzon last week caused P116 million economic losses in Meralco’s franchise area alone.
“Last May 31 and June 1, we’ve experienced rotational brownouts in different parts of the country, and those rotational brownouts affected close to 705,000 customers in two days. This is just only in the Meralco franchise,” Gatchalian said in his remarks during the Senate Committee on Energy hearing on power supply shortages.
“We ran estimates, we valued [that] the two-day loss equated to P116 million in economic losses. This is only taken within the Meralco franchise, [we’re] not even talking about the economic losses experienced by the electric coops,” he added.
Meralco is Metro Manila’s only electric power distributor and holds the power distribution franchise for 22 cities and 89 municipalities, including the whole of the National Capital Region and the exurbs that form Mega Manila.
Economy lost P116M due to 2-day rotating brownouts – Gatchalian
“So again, two day loss, the two day brownouts, these are the rotational brownouts equated to P116 million and just to give context we’re now trying to recover from the pandemic and in fact the government is trying to reopen the economy as quick as possible. That’s why when these rotational brownouts hit the country, the first person who I saw pleading was the Secretary of Trade and Industry, Secretary Mon Lopez, because he is very concerned with the reopening of our economy,” Gatchalian said.
Last week, a consumer group explicitly blamed the Department of Energy (DOE) for the rotational brownouts in Luzon this week, which shocked and angered residents, especially as it coincided with the heat of the weather and quarantine.
Laban Konsyumer president Vic Dimagiba said that as of April 15, the DOE already knew that there was a red alert on the Luzon grid from May 28 to June 10.
According to Dimagiba, the DOE should have monitored the listed plants and looked into why there is a power interruption even though it is clear in the guidelines that there should be none from April to June.