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

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Saturday, April 13th, 2019

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)

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DOE assures steady power supply on election day, entire week

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, May 10th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Energy (DOE) on Friday assured there will be enough power supply during the conduct of the midterm elections on May 13.

DOE spokesperson Undersecretary Wimpy Fuentebella said at a press briefing that a task force election has already been activated since February to ensure stable, uninterrupted and reliable energy supply before, during and after elections.

The task force, created under Department Circular No. DC2018-05-0014, has eight members including the National Electrification Administration (NEA), National Power Corporation (Napocor), National Transmission Corporation, Philippine National Oil Company, Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation, Philippine Electricity Market Corporation, National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), and the Manila Electric Company (Meralco). Six other supporting organizations are also onboard.

Although measures on energy supply have already been laid out, the DOE said, the energy sector will continue to keep a tight watch in case of power fluctuations during the election day.

“Ina-assure po natin ang ating mga kababayan that the energy family is working 24/7 not only for monitoring but we’ve also deployed our personnel to make sure na yung mga kuryente galing sa planta papunta sa mga polling places at sa mga canvassing stations ay magkakaroon ng sapat na kuryente,” Fuentebella said.

The DOE is also set to open a command center in its headquarters in Taguig City to receive reports and complaints on the power supply, ensuring immediate power restoration in case of outages.

Meralco, for its part, prepared 300 flood lights and generator sets to be used in polling precincts in case of power interruption. At least 300 linemen will also be deployed to inspect Meralco’s power facilities.

READ: Meralco on general alert during elections

Meralco also inspected the electrical wiring and other facilities in voting and canvassing centers.

“We’re actually 100 percent complete in terms of inspecting ‘yung mga facilites ng Meralco especially those serving the polling and canvassing centers,” said Primo Alonzo, head of Meralco’s Energy Management.

The NGCP, meanwhile, assured to monitor the power supply situation in case yellow and red alert notices will be issued over the Luzon grid.

“In case na mayroong disturbance na mangyayari, na hopefully ay wala, mayroon kaming naka-deploy na resources, tao, tsaka available na equipment, to mobilize doon sa site para ma-minimize yung disturbance,” said Santiago Dimaliwat, Vice President and Head of NGCP systems operations.

NEA, on the other hand, told provincial electric cooperatives to defer any power plant preventive maintenance works to avoid power interruptions in their franchise areas.

“We have also advised the electric cooperatives not to conduct preventive maintenance a week before and after the elections in order to ensure continuous power sa kanilang franchise areas,” said Artis Nikki Tortola, NEA Deputy Administrator.

In case a power interruption is inevitable, the energy sector said, polling centers will be spared from manual load dropping to ensure that polling and counting of votes will not be disrupted. (with details from Joan Nano)

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Meralco on general alert during elections

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) in on general alert during elections on Monday (May 13) in case there will be a power outage.

Despite assurance there will be no power outages during elections, Meralco has prepared 150 generator sets in various franchise office.

They also prepared 300 flood flights which can be used in polling precincts in case of power interruption. 300 Meralco linemen will also make rounds in various areas to fix electricity lines, posts, and transformers.

“Itong Lunes nasa status kami ng general alert (On Monday, we will be on general alert) and those in the field will be ready to respond in any given situation,” according to Meralco Spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga.

Meralco also reminds personnel manning the polling precincts to make sure all electrical wiring is in good condition and avoid octopus wiring which is one of the main cause of brownout.

Avoid using appliances that consumes too much electricity to avoid overloading.

In case of brownout or electricity emergencies, contact Meralco through their social media or call 1622-8118. They can also message Meralco.


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Meralco will make sure there is enough power supply in canvassing centers.(with reports from Joan Nano)

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Consumers to save 27 centavos per kWh in May

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Consumers will get to save from electricity charges next month as Manila Electric Company (Meralco) announces rate cuts in May.

Meralco on Tuesday (May 7) said it will charge households P10.28 per kilowatt hour (kWh) next month which is P0.272 lower than electricity rates in April.

That means a P55-pesos saving for household consumption of 200 kWh; P82 pesos cheaper for a consumption of 300 kWh; P100 pesos savings for households consuming up to 400 kWh; and P136 pesos savings for those who consume up to 500 kWh.

Meralco said the power rate reduction can be attributed to the drop in generation charges and transmission charges.

“Ang nangyari (ay) kabaliktaran. Bumaba ang presyuhan ng kuryente, (Power charges went down.)” noted Meralco Spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga.

“Ito po’y sapagkat ang ating power supply agreement ay bumaba ng 51 centavos per kilowatt hour. Iyong mga independent power producers ay nagkaroon rin ng pagbawas sa kanilang singilin na 75 centavos per kilowatt hour, (This was the result of a drop in power supply agreements by 51 centavos per kWh. Independent power producers also reduced their power rates by 75 centavos per kWh,)” he added.

Meralco added that power rate reduction would have been lower if not for the thinning of power supply in April.

Meralco noted that the Luzon grid was placed under yellow alert status
seven times and also reached red alert status seven times in the month of April.

The power distributor is uncertain, however, if power rate reduction would continue even after next month. – (with details from Joan Nano) Marje Pelayo

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