Election won’t be in the dark, say DOE, utilities

THERE will be enough electricity and no power interruptions during the May 13, 2013 elections, the Department of Energy (DOE) and two power distributors assured yesterday.

Speaking in the Kapihan sa PIA, DOE-Visayas Director Antonio Labios said that at present, there is a power reserve of 300 to 400 megawatts (mw) a day, which is enough even if the demand will increase shortly.

Theresa “Ganzo” Sedriosa, corporate communications manager of the Visayan Electric Company (Veco) and Engineer Lowell Belcina, resident manager of the Cebu Electric Cooperative (Cebeco), also gave the same assurance during the Kapihan hosted by the Philippine Information Agency 7 and Skycable.

Just the other day, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) reported a supply of 1,713 mw and a peak demand of 1,328 mw, Labios said. The NGCP transmits power to distribution companies like Veco and Cebeco.

“We are confident that there will be no power shortage on election day because that will be a holiday,” Labios said.

Veco’s franchise area stretches from San Fernando town in the south to Compostela town in the north.

Cebeco 1 covers Carcar City to Barili town; Cebeco 2 from Danao City to Tuburan town; and Cebeco 3 from Asturias to Aloguinsan town.

“We are going to meet the local engineers of the towns and cities so we will know the locations of polling places. If there are schools with polling precincts that have no power connections yet, we will help so they can have power connections,” Belcina said.

Sederiosa, on the other hand, said: “We are ready for election day. Everything is in place. The personnel already know their field assignments.”

After being deputized by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), DOE created the Power Task Force through Department Circular 2012-1211, issued by Secretary Jericho Petilla last December.

The task force has created a command center in Banilad, Cebu City to be headed by NGCP. The other task force members are the Philippine Power Marketing Corp., which handles the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market, and the Philippine Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives.

Both Belcina and Sederiosa urged the power consumers to report persons who might try to sabotage the power supply or possible causes of power disruptions, like a tree that’s about to fall on a power line.

“The people must be vigilant. They must report to us any threat against power supply because we can’t be in all areas all the time,” Sederiosa said.
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