MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Energy (DOE) has allayed fears that the country will face power crisis soon amid a series of yellow and red alerts notices issued on Luzon grid.
DOE Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella stressed in a press briefing on Thursday (April 11) that the potential causes of the current energy problems and its remedies have been identified.
Fuentebella said they have already prepared strategies for possible problems on demand, supply and distribution, adding that the DOE is prepared to face whatever crisis the country may be hit with.
Since last week, Luzon grid has been consecutively experiencing a drop in power supply reserves due to unplanned outages of several power plants.
Fuentebella said that instead of the expected removal of 827 megawatts (MW) from the system due to the scheduled maintenance shutdown of some power plants, the system actually lost 1,452MW after four power plants went into unplanned outages.
These power plants were identified as the Pagbilao Unit 3, which went out on April 2 after it experienced boiler sagging but is scheduled to resume operations on April 16; South Luzon Power Generation Corporation (SLPGC) Unit 2 which was offline since April 7 due to an issue in primary air fan but is set to go online on April 21;
South Luzon Thermal Energy Corporation (SLTEC) Unit 1, which went out due to boiler tube leak on March 20 but is scheduled to resume operations on April 13; the Sual Unit 1 which is set to go online on April 17 after experiencing piping leak at its boiling circulating pump on April 9.
The operators of the said power plants have already been asked to submit a report on power outages, according to Fuentebella. DOE will also send personnel to validate these reports.
The energy official also assured that the power supply in the country remains adequate based on power outlook.
Power supply agreements between the Manila Electric Company (Meralco), 70MW Millennium Energy and 161MW Therma Mobile Inc. are also being finalized. These power plants, which are seen to go operational by April 26, are expected to help boost supply this month.
DOE earlier called on the public to conserve and use energy wisely to address power demand upticks amid intense heat this season. – Robie de Guzman
The Department of Energy (DOE) said customers can pay their electricity bill by installments during the months under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Based on the advisory released by the Energy Department, electric bills with due dates from March 15 can pay in installments for four months once the ECQ is lifted.
“Binigyan po natin sila ng panahon para bayaran (We gave them time to pay [the bills]) after the ECQ in four equal installments,” according to DOE Sec. Alfonso Cusi.
There will also be no additional fees for the consumers. According to Cusi, this is to ensure that consumers affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic won’t have difficulty in paying their bills.
“Para sa ganoon po naman, medyo hindi magipit ang ating mga kababayan sa pagbabayad nitong mga nakonsumong kuryente sa kanilang mga bahay-bahay po, (This is to not burden our fellowmen in paying the electricity they consumed in their homes)“AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday (March 26) reported an additional 71 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.
This brings the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines to 707.
Meanwhile, two more patients have recovered, bringing the total to 28.
However, the Department confirmed seven additional deaths, bringing the nationwide death toll to 45.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III in a live broadcast Thursday afternoon also announced that the country has recorded 657 patients under investigation (PUIs) who are confined in hospitals.
The number of persons under monitoring (PUM) or under self-quarantine, on the other hand, is at 6,321.
The DOH is planning to establish community quarantine facilities to accommodate more PUIs and PUMs as a measure to decongest the major hospitals overwhelmed by the surge of COVID-19 patients.
The DOH added that these community quarantine facilities will also house COVID-19 recoveries who need further medical observation.
Among those eyed for community quarantine facilities are schools and evacuation centers.
“Sa ngayon nga po tayo ay nakikipag-usap na sa pamunuan ng Quezon Institute, sa Philippine Red Cross para makapag-umpisa tayo ng isang malaking community quarantine facility kung saan pwede po nating ilagak ang ating mga mino-monitor,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
(As of now, we are coordinating with the management of the Quezon Institute and the Philippine Red Cross to start with the establishment of a big community quarantine facility where we can house patients who need monitoring.)
“Ang layunin po ng ating gobyerno ay para hindi maghalo ang ating mga (The purpose of our government is to separate) severe at critical with mild and asymptomatic and also, of course, to decongest our hospitals,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has signified its offer of more than 100 evacuation centers across the country to be converted into quarantine facilities.
The DOH is now forming the necessary protocols for the operations of the proposed community quarantine facilities. MNP (with inputs from Aiko Miguel)
The Department of Health on Saturday night (March 14) reported 13 additional cases of COVID-19 in the country.
Cases PH99-PH111 were confirmed to have the virus on March 13, bringing the country’s total number of cases to 111.
The DOH is currently validating information of the new cases and assured to release details to the public as soon as it is available.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III has called for the public’s cooperation and appealed on behalf of the frontline health workers and medical personnel who are “risking their safety to respond to the needs of the public.”
“All we ask is for you to do your part: practice preventive measures, go on strict home quarantine if you are experiencing mild symptoms,” Duque said.
“At this most trying time, our strongest weapon as a nation is Vigilance, Preparedness, and Solidarity. We are seeing these values at play now as DOH is receiving an influx of support from individuals and organizations who are willing to render assistance in any way they can. Let this be a reminder for all Filipinos to step up to the plate and heed the call for cooperation,” he added.
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