Power woes

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By Dennis Limlingan

The Advocate

Monday, July 21, 2014


CONSUMERS of electric power scratch their heads in dismay nowadays because of the rotational brown-out that is being implemented by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines or the NGCP.

The NGCP is the carrier of electricity, through its transmission lines, from electric power generators to electric cooperatives or companies that distribute electricity to residences or establishments.

The culprit, according to the transmission company, is the low supply of electricity in the country. The power situation was allegedly aggravated by the recent onslaught Typhoon Glenda which cut electric power lines while toppling electric poles and damaging other facilities concerned with electricity.

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At the height of Glenda’s onslaught, massive electric power outage was experienced from Metro Manila down to the Bicol Region, with Quezon province in the Southern Tagalog being the most directly hit province by the typhoon.

Considering the damage of Glenda to power lines, poles and other components in the supply of electricity in the typhoon-devastated areas in the country, it’s quite acceptable that we suffer brown-outs due to the said technical problems.

Electricity consumers would surely understand why they have no electric power supply when they see electric poles and power lines littered on roads. Of course they will clamor for the immediate restoration of their electric power supply but then, they can see the reason why they have no electric power.

With the occasional power outages that we suffer today in many places in the country, I have heard more questions than answers on the electric power crisis that we have to bear.

The NGCP said that there is deficiency in the supply of electric power that they have to ration it among electric cooperatives and corporations. Without the supply, the latter entities have nothing to distribute to households and establishments using electric power.

Skeptics ask why there is not enough supply of electric power in the country when many of our dams, which generate hydroelectric power have much water in them. We are already in the season of rains, thus hydroelectric power generators cannot say that their dams have no water to generate electricity.

Some people ask why there is insufficiency in electric power supply in the country when many are in fact not using it. We have to remember that Metro Manila up to the Bicol peninsula suffered cut power lines and toppled poles due to Glenda that they are not using electricity for the past week.

Why the shortage in supply when there is actually lesser demand due to the typhoon devastation. The law on supply and demand perhaps has been defied.

According to the NGCP, there are electric power generators that bogged down either due to maintenance shutdown or due to technical problems. This fact contributes to the already diminished supply of electricity on the country.

With this shutting down of electric power generators, we are reminded of the alleged collusion of electric power generating companies and other entities that was allegedly aimed at justifying the spike in the price of electricity. Electricity is business anyway.

The timing on the shutting down of electric power generators is quite questionable considering that a number of them bogged down almost at the same time if not simultaneously. It may be true but it’s hard to believe for consumers who have to lurk in the dark for two to four hours a day.

A foreigner-friend of mine commented that we are backwards in terms of electricity because brown-outs in his country area things of the past. They do not suffer outages unless there are hurricanes or tornadoes deadly enough to damage their electric facilities, according to him.

A question that bugs recently those who are affected by the brown-outs: why do electric cooperatives and corporations have to suffer too on the fate of those which were devastated by Glenda?

Also, why are there power distributors which suffer longer hours of brown-out as compared to others which experiences it for mere couple of hours? This was asked by an observer of the brown-outs which I had a chat recently. I think the NGCP should implement “equitable distribution” of electric power supply to avoid such issues.

Meanwhile, it’s quite funny that some people think that the rotational brown-out scheme that is being implemented by the NGCP is a mere cover-up to the DAP issue besetting Malacañang.

We will just have to hope that everything will be back to normal soon. Electricity is no luxury but a necessity that we need in our daily lives.

***

As I write this piece, I am quite in a hurry. Someone from this paper sent me a text message that we send our articles earlier than the usual hour that we send our stories. His reason: the impending electric power interruption as announced by the NGCP.

***

For any comments, ideas, suggestions or opinions, text or call The Advocate at 09213636360 or send email at dencious@yahoo.com.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on July 22, 2014.

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