Power distributors gear for Election Day
MANILA, Philippines — Electricity distributors nationwide have stepped up preparations for the May 9 elections to ensure adequate and reliable power supply in rural and far-flung areas.
The move was in response to the Department of Energy’s advisory urging all distribution utilities (DUs) to create an energy task force to secure power supply before, during and after the polls.
The National Electrification Administration (NEA) earlier announced the creation of its NEA Power Task Force Election 2022 to head the preparations among DUs.
Among its responsibilities would be to ensure the availability of all its substation facilities and distribution lines, including adequate connection and service entrance facilities of polling places and canvassing centers.
It should also work on accelerating repairs in critical distribution lines before Election Day and securing the availability of reliable embedded generators within franchise areas.
The DUs, on the other hand, must ensure power as the Commission on Elections tests and seals vote-counting machines between May 2 and May 7.
In particular, there must be special and emergency line crews backed up by the necessary logistics support to inspect distribution power lines and connection points, as well as check power breakers and fuse ratings in polling places.
The task force should also conduct an information drive on how to avoid power supply overload and short circuits during the elections and how to respond to emergency cases that may affect power supply within service areas.
The DUs were also advised to coordinate with the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines to ensure that polling places and local government offices would be excluded from scheduled load shedding.
Load shedding refers to a power company’s need to reduce its electricity consumption by switching off supply to de-risk the entire power system and prevent longer and larger outages.
This Holy Week, Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) assured customers that it would provide uninterrupted service and remain on standby 24/7 to respond to concerns and emergencies.
It also advised customers to observe electrical safety, especially among those heading out of town during the four-day break.
“For a worry-free vacation, we encourage our customers to practice electrical safety and energy-efficient measures,” said Meralco spokesperson and head of corporate communications Joe Zaldarriaga.
Meralco advised end-users to turn off appliances when not in use — especially if no one would be home for several days—except for appliances designed to stay on such as refrigerators.
Electricity end users must also keep combustible materials away from outdoor lighting and other sources of heat, it added.
“Octopus connections” or plugging extension cords into a single-power outlet should be avoided as it could lead to overheating and result in fire and other accidents.
Meralco said it was best to distribute cords to other power outlets inside the house.
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