ILOILO City – The goal is to sufficiently supply this city’s power needs today without interruption, according to Panay Electric Co. (PECO).
To achieve this, PECO sought the Philippine National Police’s help in securing the former’s power distribution assets (substations, posts, cables, etc.), said Engr. Randy Pastolero, assistant vice president for operation.
PECO has also put on standby troubleshooting teams.
“Basta election ginahandaan naton ini. Ready ang PECO magresponde if may emergency power interruption,” said Pastolero.
But there should be continuous supply of electricity unless PECO’s power suppliers themselves have problems, he added.
Thus, said Pastolero, PECO requested Panay Power Corp. to have its diesel power plant ready in addition to the coal-fired power plant of Panay Energy Development Corp.
The city’s power demand on regular days reaches 118 megawatts. Today, however, this may even be lower because it’s a holiday thus most government offices and private businesses are closed, said Pastolero.
For its part, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Region 6 assured the public that the election would push through even if there is power interruption.
All vote counting machines (VCM) and voter registration verification machines (VRVM) have sufficiently-loaded batteries that automatically activate should there be a brownout, stressed Regional Director Jose Nick Mendros.
“The batteries are attached to the machines all the time. Kung sakaling mag-brownout activated kaagad so hindi mag–o-off ang machines,” said Mendros.
One matter that may be a concern, said Mendros, is the illumination of schools during the night should there be power interruption.
Some schools have power generators but others have none, he said.
Mendros also said Comelec has 261 contingency VCMs should those deployed to precincts in Iloilo province bog down.
For its part, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has activated its Overall Command Center. Contingency plans are in place to monitor and quickly address any grid disturbance.
Since May 13 has been declared a special non-working day, NGCP’s critical units, such as System Operations (SO) and Operations and Maintenance (O&M), remain fully staffed and operational.
Line crews, engineers, pilots, maintenance and testing, and other technical personnel are also strategically positioned in NGCP substations to respond to line trippings, should these occur.
“NGCP’s Integrated Disaster Action Plan (IDAP) prescribes these and other measures to ensure the readiness of all power transmission facilities to be affected by emergencies or important national events. With its security and contingency preparations set, NGCP can ensure reliable power transmission services before, during, and after the election date,” stated the company.
NGCP is a Filipino-led, privately owned company in charge of operating, maintaining and developing the country’s power grid./PN