by Myrna Velasco – January 8, 2016
from Manila Bulletin
Through a Circular, the Department of Energy (DOE) has prescribed ‘contingency measures’ that all stakeholders in the power industry must pursue to guarantee reliable and adequate electricity supply during this year’s election period.
This shall be reinforced by the multi-stakeholder task force that has been created – with the energy department in the lead. This year’s national and local elections will be on May 9.
“In accordance with Comelec Resolution Number 10023, the DOE deems it necessary to adopt measures to ensure provision of stable and continuous supply of power during the national elections starting from May 2, 2016,” the DOE circular has stipulated.
It added that such shall terminate or will be concluded upon the completion “of the canvassing of votes and the proclamation of the winning candidates.”
Primarily, the energy department has directed relevant stakeholders that no maintenance schedules of power plants shall be done within the period; while repair works at distribution and transmission sub-segments of the industry shall likewise be deferred.
The DOE has noted that generation companies must “defer scheduled plant maintenance and tests during the critical period.”
Similarly, they are required to “secure adequate fuel supplies and maintain reasonable fuel inventories.”
The department has further noted that if necessary, lease-rental of generating sets must also be done under the same intent of ensuring “adequate, stable and reliable power supply.”
On the part of the transmission firms – National Transmission Corporation and its concessionaire National Grid Corporation of the Philippines – they have been required to collaborate on having normal operations at the transmission facilities during the polling period.
The DOE has further instructed them to “suspend maintenance and testing works on substation facilities/transmission lines, one week before and after election day, except in emergency cases.”
Being at the core of the electricity system’s operation, NGCP in particular has also been directed to “update load shedding schedule in each grid to consider priority supply to polling places and local government offices.”