In a statement, NEA said Batangas ECs are facing a drastic decline in power demand as thousands of residential customers were forced to evacuate and businesses closed amid the continuing unrest of Taal Volcano.
STAR/ File
Batangas power coops to incur losses due to Taal
Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - January 20, 2020 - 12:00am

BATANGAS,  Philippines — Batangas electric cooperatives (ECs) will suffer from operational losses as demand for electricity in Batangas plummeted amid Taal Volcano’s unrest, according to the National Electrification administration (NEA).

In a statement, NEA said Batangas ECs are facing a drastic decline in power demand as thousands of residential customers were forced to evacuate and businesses closed amid the continuing unrest of Taal Volcano.

Batangas I Electric Cooperative (BATELEC-I) reported a seven megawatt (MW) drop, while Batangas II Electric Cooperative (BATELEC-II) pegged a 12-MW to 15-MW decline, which will have an effect on their operations both financial and technical including system loss rates and collection efficiency, NEA administrator Edgardo Masongsong said.

BATELEC II general manager Octavious Mendoza said the municipalities of Talisay and Laurel were on forced power shutdown as both towns were placed on total lockdown by the authorities to prevent residents from going back to their homes.

It also enforced a mandatory shutdown of electricity to 21 barangays of Tanauan City that are within the 14-kilometer danger zone starting 12 noon, Friday.

These are barangays Ambulong, Bañadero, Gonzales, Wawa, Boot, Maria Paz, Bagbag, Balele, Mabini, Tinurik, Banjo West, Janopol Oriental, Janopol Occidental, Talaga, Bilog-bilog, Maugat, San Jose, Natatas, Luyos, Montaña, and Santor.

Mendoza said this was in compliance with the memorandum issued by the local government of Tanauan and the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO).

Tanauan City is currently under a state of calamity due to the phreatic eruption of Taal Volcano. 

This developed as the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) maintained its Alert Level 4 warning, which means that hazardous explosive eruption is still possible within hours or days despite the weakening activity of Taal Volcano at the moment.

However, efforts to restore power to villages not included in the list of critical areas by the local government will continue, BATELEC II assistant general manager Mary Ann Dimaano said.

Dimaano said the barangays in Tanauan City with ongoing restoration activities are Altura Bata, Altura Matanda, Altura South, Cale, Malaking Pulo, and Santol, with 2,605 total combined households.

Meanwhile, BATELEC I general manager Alvin Velasco said the towns of Agoncillo, Lemery, and San Nicolas — all under lockdown — are also on forced power shutdown. These municipalities have a total combined households of 32,392.  

Velasco said the EC is undertaking activities that include a massive cleanup of their power distribution facilities, such as substations and feeder lines, which were covered by a thick layer of volcanic ash.

The Philippine Rural Electrification Association (PHILRECA) through its One EC Network Foundation, which the NEA chief helped create, has extended financial assistance amounting to P1.585 million for the calamity-stricken employees of BATELEC I and BATELEC II.

BATELEC I NEA
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