MANILA – The government has expressed its determination to ensure adequate and uninterrupted electric power supply, especially during the election period.
“Ang objective ng DOE (Department of Energy) ay talagang zero disruption, one week before and one week after May 9 – ito ang talagang ideal situation na kanilang nilalayong matamo. No power interruption one week before and after, para hindi magkaroon ng anumang pag-antala o ligalig doon sa panahon ng halalan,” Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said during a media briefing at the Palace on Friday.
He said the Energy Department is monitoring the maintenance of power plants.
“Sa mga scheduled maintenance, tinitiyak na sa pamamagitan nang masinsing koordinasyon, tinitiyak ng DOE na hindi nila gagawin ito sa target period natin na one week before and one week after (election day),” Coloma said.
He further noted that Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada is in Cebu to meet with power suppliers and other stakeholders, while a team from the department has inspected power plants and coordinated meetings in Luzon and Mindanao.
Coloma explained that the tight supply in electricity is due to the combination of the rising heat index and the maintenance of power plants.
“Sa Luzon, ang peak demand ay from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Masyadong mataas kasi ang heat index, tumataas pa ito. Sa Visayas and Mindanao naman, sa gabi ang kanilang peak requirement,” he said.
In Mindanao, he said, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources has given permits to cut down trees that pose risks to transmission lines.
The Palace official meanwhile called on the public to practice energy-saving measures as much as possible, despite the searing heat felt across the country.
“Hindi naman natin siguro masisisi ang ating mga kababayan na gumamit ng electric fan o ng aircon sa matinding init ng panahon. Siguro kapag medyo malamig na, kung gabi na at hindi na ganun kainit, maaaring mag-bawas ng consumption itong mga appliances at kung meron pang ibang energy conservation measures,” he said.
The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines placed the Luzon and Mindanao grids on red alert on Friday due to the high power demand brought by higher temperatures and the forced shutdown of some power plants.