ILOILO CITY – Mayor Jerry Treñas has called on the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to compel the National Grid Corporation (NGCP) to improve its transmission lines as the island of Panay, including Iloilo City, continues to suffer power outage since Jan.2.
“I am asking DOE and ERC to crack the whip on NGCP and order NGCP to make necessary improvements on the transmission lines. Unless the improvements are done, we are going to suffer the same thing, maybe next month, maybe every other month or every other week because there is a problem really in the system,” Treñas said in a media briefing on Thursday, following a virtual emergency meeting with concerned national government agencies, power stakeholders, and Western Visayas governors.
He said NGCP, which he blamed for the outage, failed to execute measures identified during the power outage that hit the region in April last year.
“I pity the city. We are growing very fast. We are promoting the city, unfortunately, this is really a difficult time,” he added.
Meanwhile, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. said during the meeting, they looked into the status of the implementation of the DOE directives after the power outage last year and areas that need improvement to avoid a similar situation from happening.
During the 2023 outage, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., through the DOE, instructed NGCP to be transparent and update its stakeholders on the status of the Visayas grid; synchronize the protection relay of the distribution, generation, and transmission to protect the system; to always watch out for the entry of variables and other sources of energy into the grid; complete phase 3 of the Cebu-Negros-Panay (CNP) backbone project, linking Negros and Cebu through a submarine cable; and fast-track the filing and approval of pending Ancillary Services Procurement Agreement (ASPA).
Defensor said they also discussed the failure to rationalize the demand at the grid after the tripping of generating unit 1 of the Panay Energy Development Corporation (PEDC) on Jan. 2 due to the lack of reserve power.
He also noted that they could not get supply outside of Panay because phase three of the Cebu-Negros-Panay (CNP) Backbone 3 Project is yet to be completed in March next year.
Defensor said Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla has ordered the NGCP to improve its protocols so other sectors can accordingly respond. (PNA)