DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is pondering of "intervening" in the Mindanao power crisis to spare the city and its critical industries from its adverse effects.
The city mayor expressed worry over the current situation, wherein Davao City has a power supply gap of about 20 to 30 megawatts following the curtailment of power load by the National Grid Corporation.
Amending to the city’s water code is also an option that Duterte is taking into consideration. The city's water code has been one of the local ordinances that have hindered the development of a hydro power plant in the area.
In an interview with Sun.Star Davao Friday, Duterte said the power situation in Mindanao will be even worse next year due to the spur in economic activity but no new power plants are being built.
“I tried to intervene in the plan of Hedcor to put up a power plant in Tamugan, I had the DCWD (Davao City Water District) meet Hedcor, but DCWD did not bulge,” Duterte said, adding that he was hopeful a compromise between the two companies could be reached.
Rotational brownouts have started to affect major cities and areas of trade in Mindanao since early February as the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) shut down several of its hydro power plants due to the low water levels from its sources.
As of the latest monitoring of NGCP last February 9, Lake Lanao is just 19 centimeters above critical level. The elevation of the lake was at 699.34 meters above sea level, while its critical level is pegged at 699.15 meters above sea level.
The low level of water in Lake Lanao is the reason power providers had to curtail distribution, such that cities without embedded generators will have to suffer the rotating brownouts imposed by the NGCP.
Data show that 70 percent of the power supply of Mindanao is sourced from power plants that tap the water flow of Lake Lanao and the Agus River System; both have low water levels due to the onslaught of the El Niño phenomenon.
The cities of Zamboanga, Butuan, General Santos, and Iligan, together with the provinces of Bukidnon, Surigao, and the entire Zamboanga Peninsula, are the areas identified by the NGCP as already being affected by the rotating brownouts in Mindanao due to the absence of embedded power plants in the area.
Davao Light and Power Company, the local power distributor in Davao City, has already tapped its Bajada Power Plant to spare the city from long power interruptions.
Dabawenyos, however, have also started experiencing 30-minute rotational brownouts since Wednesday, adversely affecting business operations in some areas. (CPM)