By Freddie G. Lazaro, PIA 1, Ilocos Norte
LAOAG CITY – The power task force for election led by the Department of Energy (DOE) has set an energy reserve outlook to anticipate a sudden outage a day before, after and during the May 9 polls.
The task force reiterated the sufficiency of power supply all over the country on Election Day during the “PIA-KBP Ilocondia Forum” facilitated by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA),
Director Efren Balaoing, head of the DOE’s Luzon field office, said the power producers have standby generators ready for energy production in case unplanned brownouts may occur.
Based on the power outlook summary presented by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), the Luzon area has 1,822 megawatt (MW) power reserve on May 8; 2,243 MW on May 9; and 810 MW on May 10.
For Visayas areas – 221 MW on May 8, 190MW on May 9 and 245 MW on May 10; while for Mindanao areas – 383MW on May 8, 373MW on May 9 and 254MW on May 10.
“In case, we have a very thin power reserve in Luzon areas in that period, the big shopping malls in Metro Manila will be asked to open their uninterruptible power sources to help sustain our energy requirement,” Balaoing said.
Engineer Benjamin Saraza, manager of the NGCP’s Northern Luzon area, disclosed the deployment of skeletal forces and double-shifting of engineers aside from the 24/7 on duty technical men of the grid to ensure immediate response addressing any incident affecting power transmission in the election period.
“We cannot promise heaven because there are instances that cannot be avoided, but we are assuring the public that we have people to be dispatched readily to address any issues on power transmission,” Saraza added.
Similar to the Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative, Incorporated (INEC), Engineer Rodrigo Agliam said their office has readied several contingency measures to sustain the smooth operation of power supply to their clients.
For his part, Election Officer Nitos Pasalo of Ilocos Norte stressed the importance of the power supply on Election Day to provide power during the casting of votes.
“There’s nothing to worry about the power supply for the Voter’s Counting Machine (VCM) because it has a back-up battery that will lasts 18 to 20 hours. But our concern is the power supply for the residents while casting their votes,” Pasalo said.
Lilibeth P. Gaydowen, the NGCP’s Northluzon public affairs officer, disclosed that the power task force for election is composed of DOE – the lead agency, the NGCP, the National Power Corporation (NPC), the power generators, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) and the distribution utilities like the INEC.
Gaydowen asked the public to be vigilant and help secure power transmission towers especially during the elections. The public was urged to report suspicious activities near transmission towers to 0917-8476427 or 0918-8476427 or email at [email protected] (MCA/FGL, PIA – 1 Ilocos Norte with reports from Bryan Xandrix Espiritu and Mary Grace Arana, interns from Northwestern University).#