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Congress is working double-time to grant President Benigno Aquino III’s request for emergency powers to address the looming power shortage in Luzon early next year.

Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, who chairs the House energy committee, wants the joint resolution giving the President special powers passed by the end of November.

“We are running out of time. There are tax perks, such as VAT (value added tax)-exemption, that need to be granted to Interruptible Load Program (ILP) participants that would require legislation. But we do not have time for that anymore. That is the reason why the President should be granted special powers,” he said.

House Joint Resolution No. 21, which was filed last week, authorizes Aquino to establish additional power-generating capacity to address the 1,004 megawatt projected shortage of the supply of electricity in the Luzon grid from March to July 2015.

Under the measure, the additional capacity will be sourced from the ILP, which involves having big-ticket power users run their own generator sets at times of critical power supply instead of connecting to the Luzon grid.