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PH should prepare for “Ambo” in the midst of pandemic

Senator Win Gatchalian called on the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to prepare contingency measures now that “Ambo” has intensified into a tropical storm, the very first storm that entered the country this year.


MANILA, Philippines – Power lines snake over the metro as the skyline is veiled by a curtain of rainshowers, 9 April 2020, amid the enhanced community quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Senator Win Gatchalian said the government should fully prepare for Tropical Storm Ambo and succeeding typhoons while restrictions in movements are still in effect as the country is still reeling from the effects of a pandemic. Photo by Mark Cayabyab/OS WIN GATCHALIAN

The lawmaker pointed out that some parts in Metro Manila recently experienced power outages despite assurance from distribution company Meralco that the power grid will be stable and will have sufficient energy supply all throughout summer.

Gatchalian said the DOE and NEA should take appropriate contingency plans to avert any possible power outages during the storm. He said power distribution utilities can put their own emergency response organization (ERO) on stand-by in case there’s a need to implement without delay their appropriate emergency response plans.

Other measures, such as line clearing, buffer and critical facility preparations, should also be implemented by power distribution utilities, according to Gatchalian.

Ambo is seen to enter the Bicol region, Southern Luzon, Central Luzon and Metro Manila.

He said the country may have been used to preparing for typhoons every year but what makes this preparation challenging is that the country is still reeling from the effects of COVID-19.

“Hindi pa man natin lubusang natatalo ang COVID-19 ay muli nanaman tayong masusubok sa mga ganitong pag-ulan. Dapat lamang na pagtuunan ng pansin at paghandaan ng DOE at NEA ang mga ganitong mga sitwasyon upang masiguro natin ang tuloy-tuloy na serbisyo ng kuryente sa panahon ng pandemya,” Gatchalian said.

“Electricity is crucial at this time . It may mean the life and death of Filipinos not only in hospitals but those who are in their homes as well. That’s why we expect the government to fully prepare for TS Ambo and succeeding typhoons while restrictions in movements are still up in many parts of the country,” he ended.