ILOILO City – Panay Electric Co. (PECO) has accused MORE Electric and Power Corp. (MPEC) of using the recent two successive days of power interruption as black propaganda against the former.
According to PECO head of Public Engagement and Government Affairs Marcelo Cacho, the blackouts on Oct. 29 and 30 were not of PECO’s making.
“First of all, we must clarify that PECO is a power distributor, not a power generator,” Cacho said in a statement. “We only distribute the power that is transmitted to us from the generators.”
The cause of the blackout was still being determined by the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) which earlier said there was disturbance in its transmission lines.
Cacho said at around 5:23 p.m. of Oct. 29, NGPC had an “issue” that caused the coal plants to shut down.
“When the system detects a problem, the coal plants automatically shut down for safety reasons. It then takes five to six hours to restart the coal plants,” said Cacho. “On this first day, contrary to what MEPC reported, it took only around six hours for power to be fully restored — the exact time needed to restart the coal plants,” Cacho added.
On Oct. 30, there was again another power outage at 8 a.m. when the submarine cable between Negros to Panay islands tripped, causing destabilization in the grid thereby forcing power plants in Panay to shut down.
Cacho stressed that contrary to what was published in the papers, NGPC did not restore power after 30 minutes.
“In fact, we were checking for updates from the NGPC, but nothing came. They only advised us that we can already restore power 11 hours after the power outage started. It was NGCP and not our supplier who held back the clearance to restore because they had to stabilize the supply of the grid,” said Cacho.
Even then, Cacho added, they already started to implement rotating brownouts early on, contrary to what MEPC claimed, but prioritized the residential areas that did not have generator sets.
Cacho lamented that MEPC made statements not based on actual facts.
“They also made issue of the fact that of the four feeders which did not experience load dropping, feeder 13 where our residence is connected is included. But they conveniently withheld the information that feeder 13 covers one of the biggest residential areas, which is particularly half of Jaro, Iloilo,” Cacho said.
“To cut a long story short, all the things that MEPC were accusing us of were untrue,” Cacho stressed. /PN