Meralco blames Naia outage on ‘accidental’ error
MANILA, Philippines — The power outage at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) on Friday was caused by an accidental error of an MServ or Meralco Energy Inc. worker, Joe Zaldarriaga, spokesperson of power distributor Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), revealed.
MServ is a wholly owned subsidiary of Meralco conducting testing activities of Naia Terminal 3’s electrical facilities as part of the comprehensive technical audit to improve the terminal’s electrical system.
Citing an incident report submitted to airport authorities, Zaldarriaga said an MServ worker “accidentally left grounding conductors attached to an electrical equipment during a testing activity, which triggered an electrical fault at 12:50 p.m.”
This subsequently resulted in the power interruption of Naia Terminal 3’s facilities on June 9, he said, adding that the affected facilities were immediately isolated and the power was restored at 1:29 p.m. on the same day.
Zaldarriaga’s statement comes after Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile said that all Naia managers should be fired for their negligence. Speaking on his weekly television program on Saturday, Enrile said the apology of Brian Co, the officer in charge of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), was unacceptable.
“Fire all of them. Replace them with people more sensitive to their reputation and sensitive to their job and sensitive to the plight of the public,” said Enrile, who has intermittently served the government since the 1960s.
Zaldarriaga apologized for the inconvenience brought about by the power interruption and assured the MIAA, the Department of Transportation, and the commuting public that “measures are being undertaken to prevent a similar incident from happening again.”
“We remain committed to working with the government in its transportation infrastructure development efforts,” he said.
The Meralco official noted that a part of the report submitted was specific suggestions to ensure the smooth conduct of succeeding audit and testing activities of Naia Terminal 3, which include the “strict implementation of toolbox meetings among MIAA, MServ, and Meralco prior to any activity.”