As yellow power alert is again raised in Luzon Grid BAYAN MUNA STAGES PROTEST VS MERALCO POWER RATE HIKE Group says simultaneous power plant shutdowns means power rate hike

Bayan Muna party list members today held a picket protest in front of Meralco, after the distribution company announced another round of power rate hike.

Members of the group carried placards saying 1.Nationalize the power sector! 2.No to power rate hike! 3. Meralco GANID! 4.Junk EPIRA!

Meanwhile, Bayan Muna Rep.Carlos Isagani Zarate blamed the Department of Energy (DOE) for allowing simultaneous shutdowns of power plants, thus, placing the Luzon grid on a Yellow Power Alert today and yesterday. A Red Power Alert was even raised yesterday afternoon as its reserve was reduced below the 647 megawatts (MW) level.

A yellow alert means power reserves have dropped below the minimum 647 MW while a red alert means brown outs in some areas.

"While the DOE attributed the diminished reserves as a result of the Batangas quake, this is really due to the simultaneous shutdowns. Maintenance shutdowns should not be done simultaneously because if untoward incident happens, power supply will run critical and would result to brown outs and power rate hikes. This summer they allowed 23 power plants to shutdown," said the progressive solon.

"The DOE may say that the quake is an "act of God", but that is why there is a need for caution in planning plant shutdowns. Planning is crucially relevant especially during summer when electric power is most needed because things beyond human control can happen, as what happened with the Batangas quake," he added.

"Kada summer na lang po ay sinasabi nila na kritikal ang power supply natin pero di naman sila natututo na wag papayagang magshutdown ng sabay-sabay ang mga planta -- para talagang nananadya lang para tumaas ang singil sa kuryente at ngayon gagamitin pa ang lindol na rason para dito," ended Rep.Zarate.###