Pangan: Thinning power supply

ELECTRIC power, like water, is so essential to our existence especially during summer or “hot” months.

So when outages or brownouts occur during primetime as when we do routine things during the day, we always suffer discomfort and well-placed apprehension.

I believe the task of keeping our electric supply steady and uninterrupted falls on the Department of Energy (DOE) which oversees and monitors power plants throughout the country with the aim of keeping them functional at all times.

The problem is that these power plants do suffer breakdowns because they are oftentimes old and unserviceable.

There are pending petitions in the Energy Regulatory Commission

and the courts, for base load power plants -generators that run round the clock to forestall rotational brownouts in some areas, particularly in Metro Manila.

A consumer group, Laban Konsumer, headed by Atty. Vic Dimagiba, a former Department of Trade and Industry official, which keeps a constant eye on

ERC and other power suppliers. It follows up petitions for additiona power plants to keep the supply of electric power constant and over the demand for it.

Parts of Bulacan, Cavite and northern Metro Manila are suffering from daily brownouts. Soon, it will not be farfetched, the other areas in Luzon, including Pampanga, will experience rotational service interruptions courtesy of the National Grid Corporation blaming, of course, the shutdown of power plants.

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On the matter of power plants, why not hasten the action on the demand for new power plants to replace the old, unserviceable ones? Why the foot dragging on the part of ERC to act on these petitions? What's up, sirs?

The DOE disclosed that four facilities which supply a total of 1,352 MW of capacity were under forced or unscheduled outage due to technical problems. Then, it should address these problems immediately and not wait for them to multiply and reach critical levels. Kilos agad, DOE!

We are hoping against all hopes that there will be no brownouts

during elections in May.

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Pelco, for its part, tries its best to provide electric supply to its consumer although like the rest of electric cooperatives announces periodic and unscheduled brownouts in its service areas. What gives?


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