DOE steps up efforts to end Palawan power woes

Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:00 AM August 05, 2019

The light at the end of the tunnel is now in sight for the long-suffering residents of Palawan following efforts of the Department of Energy (DOE) to ramp up support for a multisectoral program to end the recurrent brownouts in the province once and for all.

In a meeting last week, stakeholders in the public and private sectors came up with various programs based on the recent findings and recommendations of the DOE’s Task Force Paleco.

The task force was created in February by Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi to address the power interruptions in Puerto Princesa and other parts of Palawan.

The Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee and the Task Force met with the representatives of the Palawan Electric Cooperative (Paleco), National Power Corp. (NPC) and provincial government agencies on Thursday (July 25) to discuss the progress of the implementation of their respective action plans.

Paleco has been facing an angry backlash from both its consumers and the local government since 2017 due to unreliable electricity services in the province.

Earlier, Cusi directed TF Paleco to look into the power issues in Palawan through a performance audit. To this end, the Task Force conducted two site validations in February and March.

The task force’s findings included the uncoordinated synchronization of the protection system of Paleco and NPC’s distributions lines; overloaded substations; vegetation obstruction along distribution lines, and the slow coordination among various government agencies on distribution line maintenance.