Iloilo City mayor hits NGCP over Panay Island blackouts

Iloilo City mayor outraged at NGCP over Panay blackouts

/ 10:57 AM January 04, 2024

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas hits NGCP over Panay Island blackouts

FILE PHOTO: Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas. (Photo from his Facebook page)

MANILA, Philippines — Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas on Thursday chided transmission provider National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) for its alleged inaction on repeated blackouts in several provinces in Western Visayas.

Iloilo City is among areas in Western Visayas suffering from a power outage since Tuesday, January 2.


According to Treñas, a similar three-day blackout occurred in areas along the interconnected power grids in Visayas amid the hot season in April 2023.


READ: NGCP isn’t only to blame for Panay blackout, says lawmaker

However, the NGCP allegedly did not heed the solutions put forth by key government agencies to prevent further power outages in the provinces which resulted in another blackout, the mayor said.

“We had meetings with DOE [Department of Energy], ERC [Energy Regulatory Commission], and solutions were identified. But now, January of 2024, the same solutions have not been completed…and the problems prevail,” Treñas lamented in an interview at Teleradyo Serbisyo.

Treñas mentioned that NGCP should have already constructed transmission lines to supply power to the Panay Island grid.

“Dapat ang Cebu, Negros, Panay grid, ang transmission line, dapat nagawa na iyan matagal na. Hindi ko alam kung anong ginagawa ng NGCP, walang nangyayari,” he said.

(The transmission line for the Cebu, Negros, and Panay grid should have been done a long time ago. I do not know what the NGCP is doing. Nothing is happening.)


Treñas added that it appears as if no agency in the government could tell the NGCP to fulfill its responsibilities.

“I do not know if there is a national government agency that has enough teeth that can bite into NGCP and can force it to do what it is supposed to do,” the mayor continued.

Treñas explained that he had been coordinating with the DOE, but the agency seems to be devising another solution to the recent power failure.

“I think someone just has to crack the whip so that NGCP will start working,” he said.

The mayor also urged the lone grid operator to ensure that its transmission lines across the country are stable.

“Kawawa ang mga tao rito,” Treñas said.

(The people here are suffering.)

Earlier this week, several provinces in Western Visayas suffered from a power outage, which the NGCP attributed to an “unscheduled maintenance shutdown” of its major plants in Panay Island.

READ: Power outage hits Panay Island

The NGCP had successfully restored power to some parts of the affected areas along the Visayas grid. However, Treñas said that as of Thursday morning, more than 50 percent of affected municipalities still have no power.

Following the blackout, the grid operator said there is a “need for improved planning to ensure sufficient generation per island, with a well-balanced mix of fuels and technology.”

READ: NGCP asserts need for better resource planning after Panay power outage

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“NGCP strongly recommends the review of the Philippine Grid Code to cater to renewable energy sources, particularly the effective use of emerging technologies such as energy storage systems, among others,” it added.

TAGS: Department of Energy, Iloilo, Jerry Treñas, NGCP, Panay Island power outage

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