Enough power supply during polls —DOE
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - April 26, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Department of Energy (DOE) has assured the public of enough supply of power during the election period.

Engineer Jose Rey Maleza, officer-in-charge of DOE-Visayas, said there will be stable power supply despite the occurrence of weak El Niño phenomenon.

Maleza, in yesterday’s AGIO-PIA-7 Forum, said the department has recently reactivated its Energy Task Force Election (ETFE) in compliance with the Commission on Elections Resolution 10401 to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply during the election period.

ETFE has eight members, which include the NEA, National Power Corp., National Transmission Corp., Philippine National Oil Co., Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp., Philippine Electricity Market Corp., National Grid Corp. of the Philippines and the Manila Electric Co. There are six other supporting organizations also onboard.

The Task Force will work closely with the national security group composed of the National Security Council, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection and Philippine Coast Guard.

While DOE promised sufficient and reliable electricity, the Visayas Electric Company (VECO), however, cannot assure that there will be no power outages during the midterm elections.

VECO Chief Operating Officer Anton Mari Perdices said though the company will deploy maintenance crew in polling precincts in case of a power outage.

“We are prepared as we can be,” he said.

To ensure enough supply during the midterm elections in May, the DOE has directed other power generators not to conduct preventive maintenance schedules a week before and after May 13.

Diosdado Sindulan, Visayas Network Planning of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines senior manager, said if just one major power plant goes offline due to sudden plant breakdown or other unforeseen events, total supply would still not be affected because of reserves.

The poll body said it is important that power is uninterrupted during elections as the computerized voting-counting machines rely on stable power supply to operate efficiently.

To test its readiness, Maleza said DOE is set to conduct a dry run from May 6 to 10 in time for the final testing and sealing of vote counting machines.

“On the demand side, we continue to campaign on energy efficiency and conservation to lessen the demand and encourage the implementation of Interruptible Load Program,” he added. — KBQ (FREEMAN)

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