Samal Island under state of calamity due to power crisis | Inquirer News

Samal Island under state of calamity due to power crisis

/ 09:02 PM May 20, 2023

DAVAO CITY—Officials of the Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS) in Davao del Norte have declared a state of calamity to enable the use of emergency funds for the purchase of alternative power-generating capacities.

The resort island is grappling with a persistent power crisis.

During Tuesday’s session, the city council authorized Mayor Al David Uy to allocate approximately P8.1 million for the acquisition of modular generator sets and accessories as an immediate solution to the rotational brownouts experienced by the island-city’s 116,000 residents under the franchise area of the Northern Davao Electric Cooperative (Nordeco).


The amount will be sourced from the 30-percent Quick Response Fund of the city’s local disaster risk reduction and management fund (LDRRMF), following the declaration of a state of calamity on May 16 “in response to the ongoing power crisis,” stated the city council.


“Given the situation wherein restoring enough power supply through a submarine cable is not feasible, the provision of modular generator sets is the most immediate solution,” it added.

The city council has also requested the appearance of Nordeco officials before the local legislative body to address the people’s inquiries and demands regarding the power crisis.

The power cooperative, serving over 200,000 member-consumer-owners in Davao del Norte and Davao de Oro provinces, has expressed apologies for the debilitating power difficulties in Samal, a popular tourist destination known for its beaches, islets, and bat-filled caves.

The city, located just a 5-minute ferry ride across the Pakiputan Strait from the regional capital Davao City, requires a minimum energy capacity of 9 megawatts.

Nordeco has been relying on completing repairs on a submarine cable that connects the island to the Mindanao power grid to stabilize the power supply. In the meantime, three generator sets have been used as backup power supply.

As a result, Nordeco stated in an advisory that scheduled load curtailment in Samal has been extended, and rotational brownouts are anticipated until May 30.


“On the other hand, an additional 2 megawatts of power will be installed in Igacos immediately upon the arrival of the generator sets, tentatively on May 23. Going forward, the island’s improved power supply is expected by the first week of June 2023,” Nordeco added.


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