Businesses lose millions to brownouts
() - November 12, 2009 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Rotating brownouts brought about by the continued power shortage in the Cebu-Negros-Panay have caused millions of losses in terms of income among businesses in Cebu, the Philippine Retailers Association-Visayas revealed.

PRAV Chairman Robert Go said that small and medium businesses that do not have generator sets are the ones greatly affected by the rotating brownouts. He explained that without electricity, operations cannot push through, thus, employees are forced to go home early.

“Service companies using equipment machinery had to stop operation. Some products were wasted and destroyed when a midstream engine stop or a car shop can’t bring a car down from the alignment machine,” Go said.

Go said it is difficult to quantify the actual losses without the total number of establishments and total opportunity losses, but it is reportedly safe to estimate that the losses have reached millions.

As of yesterday, the Cebu Thermal Power Plant 1 and 5 units of Cebu Diesel Power Plant 1 with 6mw each in Naga was unavailable as per system alert from the National Grid Power Corporation.

The Visayan Electric Company Inc.’s share of the interruption reached 50mw in the morning peak, 70mw in the afternoon peak, and 50 mw in the evening peak.

VECO interrupted four feeders starting at 9:15 am in Calamba 313 (Gaudalupe, Labangon, Tisa), Mandaue 311 (Kasambagan, Mabolo, Banilad, Tipolo and Subangdaku), Cabangcalan 311 (Banilad, Mandaue, Talamban, Canduman, Casuntingan and Cabangcalan). Power returned one hour later.

Again, the Mandaue Feeders 312 was interrupted at 12 pm, which affected the areas of Looc, Cambaro, Centro, Alang-alang, Ibabao, Mantuyong, Guizo, Tipolo, Bakilid, Maguikay, Casuntingan, and Banilad.

By 1:30 pm, greater part of Mandaue City and barangays Kasambagan, Barrio Luz, Lahug, Apas, and Busay in Cebu City, as well as areas leading to mountain barangays, were also interrupted.

The greater part of Talisay City, the entire Minglanilla town, and part of Naga town also experienced power shortage shortly before 3pm.

Meanwhile, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia said the power interruptions are exactly the reason why she has been pushing for additional power plants.

“That is exactly why I have been pushing for the installation of additional power plants that will supply our present and expected demand for the five to 10 years. We need the additional power to sustain and further boost Cebu’s growth,” Garcia said.

For her part, Cebu Sixth District Rep. Nerissa Soon-Ruiz said there is a need for the two upcoming power plants to go on stream by 2010. She said efforts should also be made to tap renewable energy in the long term.

“With the rapid economic growth that Cebu is experiencing, we need more investments in the power sector,” Ruiz said. — Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon/JMO  (THE FREEMAN)

BARRIO LUZ CASUNTINGAN AND CABANGCALAN CEBU CEBU CITY CEBU DIESEL POWER PLANT CEBU SIXTH DISTRICT REP CEBU THERMAL POWER PLANT CHAIRMAN ROBERT GO GOVERNOR GWENDOLYN GARCIA KASAMBAGAN POWER
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