Ensure stable power supply on election day, DOE, ERC told | Inquirer News

Ensure stable power supply on election day, DOE, ERC told

/ 09:30 AM February 16, 2022
Linemen of Visayan Electric Co. work 24/7 to be able to restore power in Metro Cebu which lost its electricity supply following the onslaught of Typhoon “Odette”

Linemen of Visayan Electric Co. work 24/7 to restore power in Metro Cebu following the onslaught of Typhoon “Odette” (international name: Rai) in December last year. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and the Department of Energy (DOE) should ensure that power firms do not resort to unplanned brownouts during election day on May 9, Senator Risa Hontiveros said Wednesday.

Hontiveros made the remark after the climate and energy policy group Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) warned of an impending blackout during the weeks leading up to and immediately after the coming elections.

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“Malaking banta sa integridad ng halalan ang posibleng pagnipis ng suplay ng kuryente sa araw mismo ng botohan at sa bilangan. Pwedeng magkadayaan, magkasalisihan. The integrity of the elections depends significantly on stable and sufficient power supply,” Hontiveros said in a statement.

(The thinning supply of electricity on the day of elections and counting of votes is a major threat to the elections.)

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“Dapat ngayon pa lang ay nakalatag na ang sapat na reserba lagpas sa 1,200MW na inaasahang margin sa pamamagitan ng dagdag na kontrata sa ancillary service at pagsisigurong walang players na paglalaruan ang merkado para makasingil ng dagdag sa presyo ng kuryente,” she added.

(As early as now, there should be enough reserve beyond the 1,200 megawatts margin by ensuring that power players will not play with the market and demand higher power prices.)

Hontiveros also reminded the DOE and power firms of their assurance in previous Senate hearings that there will be an adequate and reliable supply of electricity before, during and after the May 9 polls.

“By this time, the energy players should have already identified and installed safety measures so that the red alert status last May and June 2021 that caused major blackouts will not be reached  again,” Hontiveros said.

“Dapat magkaroon ng ngipin ang ERC para panagutin ang mga power players na taon-taon na lang ay nakakalusot sa paulit-ulit na kapabayaan sa rotational brownout. Hindi natin dapat palagpasin lalo na ngayong kinabukasan ng bansa ang pwedeng madiskaril sakaling pumalya na naman ang mga ito,” she added.

(The ERC should be firm and hold power players accountable despite the repeated rotational brownout. We should not allow this especially when it is the future of the country that is at stake if there are power problems again.)

Hontiveros said that the issue of thinning power supply is not only a threat to the upcoming elections, but is also an issue that policymakers should confront after the elections.

Hontiveros said the country should start exploring renewable energy.

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TAGS: 2022, DoE, Elections, ERC, power, Risa Hontiveros
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