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Gov’t ‘exerting maximum efforts’ to prevent brownouts – Palace

/ 02:03 PM March 18, 2014

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MANILA, Philippines – Amid fears of rotational brownouts, Malacañang on Tuesday said the government is working hard to address the problem of power shortage.

“Government is exerting maximum efforts to prevent power outages or brownouts,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said in a Palace press briefing.

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He said the Department of Energy was closely monitoring the situation “to ensure stability of supply and electric power rates, especially during the summer months.”

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Coloma said among the power plants being readied for commissioning was the controversial Malaya thermal power plant in Rizal.

“’Yan ay isa sa mga hinahandang sources of supply para hindi maging masyadong mahigpit ‘yung supply situation during the summer months,” he said.

(That is one of the possible sources of supply being readied so the supply situation during the summer months will not be so tight.)

In January, senators lambasted energy officials for failing to tap the 600-megawatt plant during the month-long maintenance shutdown of the Malampaya gas plant, which led to high electricity prices.

The plant’s operator admitted that it did not synchronize the plant with its bid in the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) because it was too costly to operate.

But a week later, government said the plant will be used to avert possible power outages during the summer months.

The Department of Energy designated Malaya power plant as a must-run unit under the WESM.

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Be positive

 

Coloma said instead of sowing fear, people should focus on the positive, including the government’s actions to ensure a stable energy supply.

“That is the focus of the government,” he said in Filipino.

The energy supply in Luzon and Visayas is adequate, and it is only Mindanao that is having problems, he pointed out.

Coloma assured that the government is monitoring the flow of electricity in the whole country 24 hours a day.

“Natunton kung ano ‘yung mga augmentation na kailangang gawin, katulad nang naisalaysay natin sa Mindanao,” he said.

(We are able to determine the augmentation needed, like what we already discussed about Mindanao.)

He said it is important to have a strong belief in the government and the power industry players.

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