Water vaporizers at NAIA, gensets in Makati for WEF
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - May 22, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Water vaporizing fans were installed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) while mobile generator sets were seen outside several hotels in Makati as the country welcomed delegates of the World Economic Forum on East Asia (WEF-EA).

Connie Bungag, chief of NAIA media affairs division, yesterday told The STAR the cooling units have been strategically deployed at the NAIA terminal 1.

She said four additional chillers are also expected to arrive in August to address concerns about the air conditioning problem at the airport.

No less than President Aquino and Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya have apologized and appealed for understanding for NAIA’s air conditioning woes.

Bungag said the air conditioning system at NAIA is affected by the ongoing P1.3-billion rehabilitation work at the airport.

Meanwhile, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said there were no instructions from the Department of Energy for establishments to put up mobile generator sets as the power situation remains manageable.

“I certainly did not issue any instruction regarding those. I would have advised them to prepare if there was imminent danger of power failure but there is none,” he said when sought for comment on generator sets seen parked outside the Peninsula and Shangri-La hotels in Makati.


Security measures

The Pasay City government has imposed measures to ensure the safety and security of delegates to the WEF-EA.

Pasay City police chief Senior Superintendent Florencio Ortilla said some 264 police personnel were deployed on a 24-hour, double shift basis.

The areas of police deployment include the routes the delegates would be taking from the airport to the forum venue, as well as destinations for rest and recreation, including the SM Mall of Asia and Resorts World.

“We are working doubly hard to ensure that the forum will be secure and peaceful. It is our pride as a country,” Ortilla said.

Pasay City Mayor Antonino Calixto said the three-day event “is a milestone event not just for Pasay but for the entire country.”

“It is a timely opportunity for our city and the whole country to attract investors who will be our partners in continuing the development in infrastructure, business investments and trading,” he said.

The Pasay Tricycle and Pedicab Franchise and Regulatory Office reported that more than a hundred out-of-line and ‘colorum’ pedicabs and tricycles were apprehended along Andres Avenue, Tramo and Buendia Avenue.

A power outage hit parts of Pasay City after a transformer at Tramo street exploded, and power has yet to be restored in affected areas as of press time.

“The city government is closely coordinating with Meralco to determine the cause of the power outags,” Jonathan Malaya, Pasay City government spokesman, said.

Barangay Tramo chairman Luz Santos said it was the first time in several years that a blackout hit the barangay.


Zero reserves

Meanwhile, amid concerns on power outages, the Visayas grid remained on red alert yesterday, the third day in a row, because of zero reserves, but no power interruptions have been reported as of press time.

The Luzon grid had to supply some 50 megawatts of power to the Visayas region, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said in an advisory.

“As of now, Luzon is supplying 50 megawatts to the Visayas grid through HVDC (high voltage direct current) line. Luzon capacity is 9,692 MW, peak demand is 8,717 MW,” according to the advisory.

“The Luzon system condition is normal,” the grid operator added.

According to data from NGCP, the system capacity in the Visayas on Wednesday was 1,534 MW while peak demand was 1,552 MW.

Despite this, there was no recorded manual load dropping in the Visayas. This means no power was rationed, a process implemented by power distributors when the grid is on red alert.

On Tuesday afternoon, some parts of Cebu experienced a power outage lasting from 20 to 30 minutes because of the critical power situation.

The Visayas grid has no power reserves because three power plants went on scheduled shutdown. The three plants – Cebu Energy Development Corp.’s Cebu facility, Panay Energy Development Corp.’s Iloilo unit, and Energy Development Corp.’s Leyte facility – are expected to be back online this week.

The red alert status of the Visayas grid came just three days after the Luzon grid was also placed on red alert last week after a unit of the Pagbilao plant conked out due to a valve problem.

The Pagbilao plant in Quezon is expected to be back online tomorrow. – With Perseus Echeminada, Iris Gonzales

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