Senate urged: Probe series of power system disturbances
MANILA, Philippines — An investigation into the series of power transmission system disruptions in the country is being pushed in the Senate.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has filed Senate Resolution No. 607, which directs the appropriate panel to “conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the successive electrical transmission system disturbances with the end view of ensuring reliable and continuous electric power supply in the country.”
“These successive transmission system disturbances caused inconvenience to communities and losses to businesses. The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) as the operator of the transmission system in the country should be held to account for the root cause of these disturbances,” Gatchalian, vice chair of the Senate energy panel, said in a statement.
In his resolution, Gatchalian cited the system disturbances in the Visayas grid, which resulted in unplanned power outages for up to 12 hours in the islands of Panay, Guimaras, and Negros.
The legislator also noted the widespread brownout that hit various areas in Luzon last week due to a tripping of the Bolo-Masinloc 230 kilovolt Line 2.
A day later, Meralco warned the public of 10 to 15-minute power supply cuts due to a “temporary system imbalance” triggered by a sudden plant outage. Gatchalian said this plagued more than 200,000 Meralco customers.
“The successive transmission system disturbances which have caused inconvenience to communities and losses to businesses is a great cause for concern,” he said.
Gatchalian also pressed for the NGCP to “be mandated to provide a comprehensive audit of the reliability of the transmission system, grid, and relatable facilities.”
Earlier, he called on the government, particularly the Department of Energy and the Energy Regulatory Commission, to hold the NGCP accountable should they find the private power transmission operator at fault or remiss of its duties.
The senator also brought up Republic Act No. 9511, which grants the NGCP a franchise to engage in the business of conveying or transmitting power through a high-voltage backbone system of interconnected transmission lines, substations, and other related facilities.
Under the law, the transmission system, grid, and related facilities maintained, operated, and managed by the NGCP “shall be operated and maintained at all times in accordance with industry standards.”
The NGCP is also mandated “to modify, improve and change such system or facilities in such manner and to such extent as the progress in science and improvements in the electric power services may reasonably require.”