‘No blackout’ on May 9, power reserves assured

THE Visayan Electric Company (Veco) and the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) are now ready with a power contingency plan for the May 9 elections.

More than 100 Veco personnel will be working both in their headquarters and on field as part of the Election Contingency Team to facilitate fast restoration of power in case of electricity trip-offs and accidental blackouts during elections.

The team includes mobile teams, emergency dispatchers and call takers, among others.

“We will not have any planned activities in our substations or any major lines starting two weeks before the elections,” Veco Systems Operations head Juan Miguel Exaltacion said.

For minor electricity problems, Veco assures that they can restore the current flow within a minute since their entire system is digitally controlled.

“NGCP (National Grid Corporation of the Philippines) assured us that there will be more or less 500 megawatts of reserved power for the elections,” Exaltacion said.

This means there will be no blackouts during the election, Veco said.

“We are ready for the coming elections this May. The supply of electricity in Cebu City, Mandaue City and all our franchise areas are assured,” lawyer Jill Owlette Verallo, Veco Reputation Enhancement Head, said.

Veco is currently taking proactive measures to ensure the voting public that their votes will be read by the machines and lights will not go out on Election Day.

Electricity lines have been checked and kites that got caught in power lines and Veco posts are being removed.

Different teams equipped with thermal scanners have also been checking major electricity lines for any wear and tear. The integrity of wiring, especially in polling places, are being checked and Mobile 5-kilowatt generator sets are on standby.

Meanwhile, Acting Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Director Police Senior Supt. Benjamin Santos said they already have a deployment plan with regards to power.

“Police personnel will be assigned to power stations and vital installations to serve not only as added security but also as contact person in emergency cases,” he said.

Police assistance for mobile Veco personnel in strategic locations during Election Day is being arranged.

For major accidents like big trucks dragging electricity lines, Veco personnel will be placed on standby in strategic field locations to immediately address whatever problems may be encountered.

Santos and all police station chiefs in Cebu City earlier had a tour of the Veco facilities in Banilad.

Veco is the second largest electric utility in the Philippines. It serves the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay, Naga and four municipalities of the greater part of Metro Cebu—Liloan, Consolacion, Minglanilla and San Fernando. (PR)

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