Metro Manila residents are set to experience rotational brownouts even as water supply problems are yet to be resolved. This is due to the simultaneous shutting down of 20 power plants which supply electricity to Luzon.
The simultaneous shutdown during summer is a way for independent power producers (IPP) to control power supply and raise prices. The IPPs, in cahoots with distribution companies like Meralco, pass the increase to their consumers. This arrangement is made possible due to the deregulation of the energy sector where production and pricing of electricity is passed on to private companies.
Meralco and its IPP cohorts are using the brownouts to push for the construction of new energy plants. Manuel Pangilinan, Meralco’s chief executive, even threatened more brownouts if these are not built. It will take at least $30 billion to build the said plants in the next years. Like in the past, the expense will be passed to the people in the form of higher electricity bills.
Aside from Metro Manila, some parts of Laguna and Rizal will also experience rotational brownouts.