Senator Win Gatchalian called on energy sector agencies and other stakeholders to ensure uninterrupted and reliable power supply while strict home quarantine is called to be observed in all households and while the government rolls out its COVID-19 vaccination program.
Electricity demand is usually higher during the summer months and as such, the reserve margin is thinner, if not insufficient, during these months.
Gatchalian emphasized that the country cannot afford to have brownouts during this time when vaccines need to be stored in specific cold conditions or refrigerated to maintain its efficacy.
The senator made the call after noting reports on a series of forced power outages in the Luzon grid. Data provided by the Department of Energy (DOE) showed that for the billing period February 26 to March 25, there were 15 unplanned outages due to excessive oil leaks, high turbine vibration, and other technical problems while there are seven planned outages during the said period.
The Senate Energy Committee Chairperson also urged the generation companies to defer to a later date any planned maintenance shutdowns if possible.
“These days, we could ill afford any power interruption as most workers, even government employees are on a work-from-home scheme, some on distance learning, and online business transactions. The wellbeing of the general public is of paramount importance as new cases of COVID-19 infections remain at an average of 12,000 daily,” Gatchalian said.
“Hindi katulad ng mga nakaraang taon, hindi dapat natin maranasan ngayon ang kahit ilang minuto lang na brownout dahil kailangang masiguro natin ang kapakanan ng publiko habang patuloy tayong lumalaban sa pandemya,” he added.