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Power outages loom

Dec 10, 2019, 6:42 PM
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MAGALLANES, Sorsogon – THE National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has warned that power outages could continue in Bicol until next year.

Nilda Somera, NGCP regional communication and public affairs officer for South Luzon, said the continued pole replacement program in the region could affect the region’s energy supply but will improve the resiliency of the grid.

The NGCP is currently switching from wood to steel poles, which could better withstand natural calamities such as earthquakes and typhoons.

The program spans from Camarines Norte down to Sorsogon province and covers all the local distribution utilities.

For Sorsogon province, the pole replacement activity will continue until the later part of 2020 as there are still around 300 posts that have to be replaced which would require 17 power shutdowns.

NGCP is only allowed twice per month for power shutdowns, thus it will take at least eight to nine months to complete the work, barring any supervening events, Somera explained.

For this year, four more power shutdowns will be initiated by the NGCP which are scheduled on November 27, December 7, 17, and 21.

Somera also explained that this November, they shut down four times as they skipped the schedule in October in deference to the request of Governor Chiz Escudero so as not to disrupt the month-long celebration of the Kasanggayahan Festival.

The NGCP official said they give advance notice to local distribution utilities to be affected by the power outage to allow consumers to plan their schedules especially those businesses that rely on electric power.

Meanwhile, the frequent blackouts that pester consumers in this town may soon be over or at least minimized.

Sorsogon Electric Cooperative (SORECO) I general manager Edwin Garcia said the brand new 10-MVA sub-station installed in Bulan town may be operational by the end of this year.

Garcia said they just have to do line clearing to ensure that no hazards exist along the distribution lines going to this town.

However, the issuance of the cutting permit by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources hinders the conduct of the activity.

Magallanes is under the area coverage of SORECO I together with the municipalities of Bulan, Matnog, Irosin, Barcelona, Bulusan, Juban, and Casiguran.

Sudden and frequent brownouts which stretch for hours have been plaguing local consumers here whose electric appliances were often busted as a result of the outages. (With reports from PNA)

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