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Monday, January 06, 2014

President Benigno Aquino III has ordered concerned agencies to find ways to bring down power costs, Malacañang reassured the public Friday.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte also said the government's hands will not be tied by business interests as it looks for solutions to the problem.

"It's a cause of concern. The President has already given instructions to relevant agencies to see what they can do," Valte said at a media briefing.

She also reiterated the government is open to any initiative to amend the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001.

However, she said the government will also have to scrutinize various suggested solutions before it can get fully on board.
Valte also noted the government is not allowed to run its own power plants because of the EPIRA. "The EPIRA prevents government from being a power generator," she said.

"While you believe the executive (department) has so much perceived power, we are limited by what the law says. There is no magic wand to wave," she added.

In the meantime, she said the Palace is studying the gist of bills on the issue that are presently pending in Congress.

"We look at the stage they are in and we look at the meat of the proposal," she said, adding these will be considered when the appropriate Cabinet clusters propose measures to be part of the priority list. (PND)

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