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Sen. Bam blasts red tape in power generation sector

Senator Bam Aquino underscored the need to hasten the process for companies venturing into power generation, saying red tape has contributed to the country’s electricity supply problem.

“Many companies want to invest in power generation but they are driven away by the slow and tedious process in getting a permit to build power plants,” said Aquino, chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.

At present, Aquino said an investor needs around 150 to 165 signatures for the approval of a permit to construct a power plant, four to five years to construct it and have it integrated into the power grid,” the senator added.

Aquino said more power plants are needed to ensure the steady supply of electricity at a lower cost.

“If we have more generating plants, even if four of five shut down, the market should be able to sustain our energy needs,” Aquino said, adding that prices of electricity will be reduced with the entry of more players in the power industry.

Aquino made the call amid the rotating brownouts being implemented by power distributors, which he blamed to the lack of supply from existing powers plants.

“Our electricity supply is thin because existing power plants produce just enough power to meet current demands. If demands spike, then power distributors are forced to resort to rotating brownouts,” the senator said.

The senator warned that these rotating brownouts pose a big threat to the economy, as it could lead to huge business losses.#