POWER outages in Davao City will continue as the power situation in Mindanao can no longer fend for the power demand of the island due to the low water levels of hydropower sources.

Local power distributor, Davao Light and Power Company (DLPC), is now sticking to its scheduled rotation of power outages.

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Business owners, and even residential consumers can now prepare for the power outages by calling the DLPC hotline, (082) 229-DLPC or 229 3572.

The schedule of power outages can also be monitored through www.davaolight.com or by sending an email with the respective DLPC account numbers at davaolight@aboitiz.com, which will send a regular advisory on scheduled power outages that may affect their area.

Throughout Mindanao, the power supply gap remains to be at 550 megawatts, while for the franchise area of DLPC power supply was curtailed by as much as 105 megawatts.

Although DLPC has the 35 megawatt diesel-run Bajada Power Plant to augment the power supply of the city, a 70 megawatt gap still remains, thus the rotating brownouts experienced.

Davao Light Corporate Communications Officer Ross Luga said the increase in the duration of the outages is due to the much-reduced generation capacity of the hydro electric plants in Lake Lanao in Lanao del Sur and Pulangi River in Bukidnon as advised by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

According to Luga, with the increase in the load curtailment by the NGCP and the reduced power back-up from the standby plant, the only option remaining is to stretch the duration of the rotating outages.

Meanwhile, a total of six companies have agreed to de-load from the DLPC during peak hours as part of the Interruptible Load Program (ILP).

The move is Davao City's response to the ongoing energy crisis, which has witnessed at least two-hour rotational brownouts since last month.

"The principle is to help reduce the duration of brownouts. The companies who own generating sets have agreed to de-load from DLPC and provide their for their own energy," Manuel Orig, DLPC executive vice president, said during a press briefing before the ILP launching at the Royal Mandaya Hotel Wednesday.

Orig said they have identified 19 companies that own generating sets and six of them have agreed to sign up.

"Hangtud walay ulan, we are depleting the level of water (Lake Lanao) and deteriorate our generating capacity. This is our response to the crisis," he said.

Orig said the companies have agreed to de-load during the peak hours, around noon and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. everyday.

Among the companies that have signed up are Victoria Plaza, Gaisano Mall, NCCC, Waterfront Insular Hotel, Unifrutti and Dole Group of Companies.

Another four -- SM City Davao, Lapanday Co., Alcantara & Sons and Davao International Airport -- are also expected to sign the agreement.

The memorandum signing was witnessed by no less than Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who supported the ILP.

"As the energy crisis grew, we felt we had to do something more. The voluntary signing of these companies are measures to ensure that the crisis will not undermine our livelihood, hamper the delivery of vital services and affect our economy,” he said in his speech during the program.

The ILP is a scheme pioneered in Cebu by the Visayan Electric Company last year to address the prevailing power shortage in the Cebu-Negros-Panay grid. The scheme was later approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission last March 10.

Under the ILP, DLPC will compensate the companies or customers based on the rate approved by the ERC, which is equal to the difference between the cost of fuel per kilowatt-hour to run a diesel generator and the cost of power per kilowatt-hour had the customer bought it from DLPC.