3-hour power interruptions burden residents in Metro Manila, parts of Luzon

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 13, 2019   •   1599

Barangay Sto. Cristo, Quezon City resident Marie Louise Cacapit and her child spent the night inside their car because of the power interruption in their area.

“Sa sasakyan kami natulog para malamigan lang. Wala na ngang tubig wala ng kuryente napakinit pa ng panahon, maiiyak kana sa sobrang init, (We slept in the car just to cool ourselves off. There’s no water, no power and then with this heat)” she said.

READ: Power outages might last until April 21

Residents in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon experienced a three-hour power outage, according to National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

Carmelito Inocencio, also a resident of Barangay Sto. Cristo Quezon City slept on the floor because of the extreme heat.

“Sobra talagang init grabe talaga, sa sahig na ako umano—sa semento para mahanginan, dito ako malamigan, (It was too hot, I slept on the floor just to feel the cold)” he said.

READ: DOE: No looming power crisis in PH

Thousands of residents in Metro Manila and other provinces in Luzon region including Caloocan, Parañaque, and parts of Bulacan and Cavite were affected by the three-hour power interruption.

National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) declared a red alert status on Friday (April 12) for 13 hours, from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

NGCP’s data showed that power demand peaked at 10,334 megawatts while the available capacity is only 10,220 megawatts.

The Manila Electric Company (Meraclo) will have three-hour rotational power interruption for its customers to compensate for the low power reserve.

READ: Meralco assures no power outages during elections

Meralco Spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga said there is not enough power reserves.

“Ngayon negative, ibig sabihin wala na talaga tayong mapagkukunang reserba. In fact, deficiency na tayo. Kapag sinabing red alert it means wala ka nang makukuhang reserba para punuan ang pagkukulang, (Now it’s negative. Meaning we have no reserves. In fact, there is a deficiency [in supply]. Red alert means there are no more reserves to fill the demand)” he said.

According to the Department of Energy (DOE) they did not expect the power supply situation to reach the red alert status.

DOE Spokesperson Usec. Felix William Fuentebella said four power plants already shutdown.

“Nagkaroon ng shutdown, nadagdag itong planta na bumigay. So apat na planta plus this on 150MW lumala sitwasyon, (Another power plant shut down. So from four power plants that shutdown plus this one. The situation is getting worse)” he said.

The energy department expects a new alert status by Saturday (April 13).

They also hope that the power situation in the Luzon region will become normal by Wednesday (April 17), when some power plants are expected to resume operations after their temporary shutdown.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Joan Nano)

DOE warns suspension of oil excise tax if global price hike continues

Marje Pelayo   •   September 18, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The government may suspend the implementation of excise tax in oil products if global prices continue to soar in the coming months as a result of the recent drone attacks on two large oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.

According to the Department of Energy (DOE), they cannot tell yet as to how much the price hike may be because it will depend on the trading price in the world market.

Nevertheless, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi assured that local oil companies have enough supply of oil which can last up to 30 days.

In the event that oil prices soar, excise tax in oil may be suspended as provisioned in the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law 1.

“Meron tayo dyan na safety net na sinasabi na kapag yung presyo ng langis in the world market, yung pag-aangkat natin breaches the 80 dollar per barrel in 3 consecutive months, we might intend to suspend excise tax,” Cusi explained.

But the official noted that as of now, there is a slim chance for the price hike, especially so that Saudi Aramco has announced to resume its normal operation in September.

Meanwhile, the DOE is also preparing for the possible adverse effect of the oil price hike to the impeding maintenance shutdown of Malampaya Power Plant next month.

Once the Malampaya is shut down, power distributors will have to buy electricity from oil-powered plants which may still lead to a power rate increase.

“Iyan pinag-aralan na natin iyan. Number 1, we want to make sure that there will be no power interruption because of the maintenance. Number two, that there will be no spike in price because of the maintenance,” Cusi said.

“Kaya lang syempre itong misbehavior ng price in the world market, talagang pagsipa noon mapi-feel natin,” he added.

Aside from diesel power plants, coal and hydropower plants are among the alternative power sources that the government is eyeing. – MNP (with details from Joan Nano)

DILG: No LGU in Metro Manila is 100% compliant with road clearing order

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 17, 2019

None of the Metro Manila local government units has reached 100 percent compliance with the road clearing order, according to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

In a statement, the DILG said they still have not identified which of the LGUs are fully compliant with President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to clear all public roads.

“We have not made any determination on which LGUs are fully compliant,” according to DILG Spokesman Jonathan Malaya.

Malaya also said an LGU needs to be fully compliant with the following before it can be declared as obstruction-free:

  • Enact or revisit ordinances related to road clearing and banning of illegal construction
  • Prepare an inventory of roads within their jurisdiction
  • Develop and implement displacement strategies
  • Cause and rehabilitation of recovered public roads

He also added that the DILG will validate the data from the LGUs regarding their status in the road clearing directive.—AAC (with reports from Mon Jocson)

DOE prepares for possible effects of Saudi oil site attack

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 17, 2019

The Department of Energy (DOE) is preparing for the possible impact of the recent Saudi oil attacks on the Philippines’ oil sector.

Based on the Facebook post on Monday (September 17), the DOE said they already held an emergency meeting at their headquarters in Taguig.

According to the energy department they are closely monitoring the situation about the incident and will keep the public informed of any developments.

READ: Analyst fears disruption of Saudi oil supply could bring ‘dire’ consequences

“We are seeking to ensure that the energy family will be sufficiently prepared to face the potential impact of this unfortunate incident, if any, on the country,” their post state.

Reports say the ‘large-scale’ drone attack can disrupt more than 5% of global oil supply.—AAC

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