By Freddie G. Lazaro, PIA, Ilocos Norte
LAOAG CITY – The National Grid Corporation of the Philipplines (NGCP) has exempted Ilocos Norte from power transmission-related brownout this Lenten week throughout the May 9 elections.
Lilibeth P. Gaydowen, the NGCP’s North Luzon public affairs officer, said that contingency measures have been done early this year to anticipate any transmission-related outage not only in the province but the whole country.
“Early this year or few months before the Lenten season and the May 9, 2016 elections, our technical men conducted a massive maintenance of the substation equipment including inspection of transmission lines and inventory of line hardwares,” she said.
“Ilocos Norte has stable power lines because we have back – up lines: a 115 kilovolts (kV) lines; and two 230 kV lines in which these lines are added to our existing 69kV lines connected to the local distribution utility,” she explained.
She said, however, a power outage in Ilocos Norte is set tentatively on May 28 for preventive maintenance of power lines.
To safeguard the existing transmission lines and towers of the grid within the vicinity of the province, she said that NGCP had already coordinated the police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and other law enforcement agencies for the creation of a “round the clock” monitoring teams.
During the election day, the technical men assigned in the NGCP’s sub-stations are “on double duty” while the regional command center is activated.
“NGCP has no scheduled brownouts nationwide within two weeks before and after the May 9, 2016 elections,” she added.
She clarified that any power interruption caused by other factors, such as generation deficiencies or those pertaining to distribution utility operations, are beyond NGCP’s control.
Meanwhile, the Commission on Election (COMELEC) passed Resolution No. 167 on March 1 deputizing the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Depart-ment of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Depart-ment of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM), the police, the Department of National Defense (DND), the National Electrifi-cation Administration (NEA), the National Power Corporation (NPC), the AFP, and other law enforcement agencies to provide sufficient personnel to secure the nationwide transmission lines and other related power facilities.
The agencies concerned will also provide assistance to and coordinate with NGCP to implement clearing of the nationwide transmission facilities.
“The purpose of the COMELEC resolution is to aid in the protection of government-owned transmission facilities operated by NGCP from bombings, pilferages, malicious planting of vegetation, and other acts that may be detrimental to the reliability of its operations, especially during the election period,” Gaydowen said.#