“We expect a full restoration by today”
Only few weeks after the onslaught of the Typhoon Nina on Bicol and Southern Tagalog Regions, the Department of Energy (DoE), together with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), National Power Corporation (NaPoCor) and National Electrification Administration (NEA), proclaimed that all its major transmission lines will be fully restored and energized, in a joint news conference held this Wednesday.
Through the Task Force Kapatid, almost one thousand personnel from different institutions are immediately deployed to help in the restoration works in the provinces of of Quezon, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Camarines Sur, Albay, Catanduanes and Sorsogon.
According to NEA Administrator Edgar Masongsong, some of the individual in this team consisting of engineers, electricians, linemen and foremen, are lend by the other 49 electric cooperatives that were not greatly damaged by the typhoon Nina. MERALCO and private investment-owned distribution owned utilities also give help by deploying 133 ground personnel to aid the rehabilitation.
As of 10 AM of Wednesday, 57% of households have already restored power.
“From the 1,765,013 households affected by typhoon, 1,003,519 have already been given power. There are still 761,494 households that are waiting to be reconnected” said Masongsong.
The remaining households are yet to get connection from power sources due some reasons disclosed by the other speakers in the conference.
As explained by NGCP spokesperson Cynthia Alabanza, prioritizing the major transmission lines will be pivotal in the restoration process to effectively connect the power sources to the consumers.
“So ang focus naten as of the last time we had press conference with the DOE was really to energize the backbone. ‘Maski ma-energize ang mga distribution utility, yung mga linya nila, kung hindi buo ang NGCP, ang backbone, wala rin silang matatanggap na kuryente from the sources. So it’s imperative na mauna ang NGCP.” said Alabanza.
DoE under Secretary William Fuentebella also discusses the factor that they have to prioritize the vital government areas like medical centers, the local municipal hall, and the commercial areas of the city. Fuentebella explained that these institutions are important especially the local government since they were the ones who communicate and coordinate with the central command centers to relay the main concerns of the victims of the calamity.
Another reason was that certain areas are “off-grid”.
Provinces such Catanduanes, Marinduque and Oriental Mindoro are off-grid areas, or places that do not have direct connection with the major transmission lines. Also regarded as SPUG or Small Power Utilities Group areas, has a smaller variation of the major transmission lines that other islands have.
Most of these places have their power plants already operational but the distribution lines are still uncompleted.
“We are focusing on 100% and what we are going to do in the coming days is to ensure that we have deployed properly these 1000 plus personnel para makita kung gaano kahabang distribution line pa ang kailangan marestore.” as said by Fuentebella. (Aljhon A. Amante)