Ensure brownout-free Covid-19 vaccination program, DOE told
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Energy (DOE) was urged to make sure of continued electricity supply when the government launches its Covid-19 mass vaccination program.
Under House Resolution No. 1527 filed Monday, the lower chamber’s committee on energy is directed to conduct an inquiry to identify measures that DOE and other concerned agencies must take to ensure there would be no power interruptions during the conduct of the Covid-19 inoculation.
The resolution was filed by Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas, who also serves as senior vice-chairperson of the committee.
“Given the importance of successfully implementing the vaccination program, the government must ensure that the program will not be disrupted by power interruptions or any other incidents that could result in power loss,” Vargas said in the resolution.
The lawmaker stressed the need for uninterrupted power supply especially as large batches of vaccines are set to arrive from the United States during peak electricity consumption in May.
“Any power interruption occurring during this period will affect the viability and efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccines in cold storage facilities, thus putting them to waste,” Vargas said.
“Should these circumstances occur, taxpayers’ money will be misspent and millions of Filipinos will be denied the opportunity for health protection from the coronavirus,” he added.
In a separate statement, Vargas advised local government units (LGUs) to ensure there are available generators and to craft other contingency plans.
“Hindi lang Plan A at Plan B (It should not just be Plan A and Plan B). We need to install as many back-up plans as possible, ensuring that all bases are covered,” Vargas said.
Vargas also urged the government to step up its efforts to create more power plants, which he said would be crucial in jumpstarting economic recovery.
“We have to look beyond the pandemic. Sa ngayon, mapalad tayo dahil bumaba ang demand. Pero hindi po nawawala ang banta ng naka-ambang energy crisis kung hindi natin tutugunan ang mga problemang lumitaw sa mga nakaraang taon,” the lawmaker said.
(We are lucky now because there is a decrease in demand but the threat of an energy crisis is still there and we will not respond to the problems we faced in the previous year.)
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