Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Two Task Forces to Ensure Power for May Elections
The Department of Energy (DOE) together with Task Force Member Agencies is in full force to ensure reliable, stable, and secure during the critical summer period and May local and national elections.
“We have two operational task forces –the Power Task Force Election and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Securing Energy Facilities–in which various national agencies and power stakeholders are conducting preparatory works, maintenance, and monitoring among other tasks just to provide power supply come election period,” said Energy Secretary Zenaida Y. Monsada. This follows as the government recognizes that the provision of electricity is crucial in striving for clean and unquestionable elections, especially that it is automated.
Upon the deputization of Commission on Elections on the DOE, National Electrification Administration, National Power Corporation, National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) and the local electric cooperatives, the Power Task Force Election was created for the delivery of adequate, stable and reliable power supply before, during and after the national and local elections on May 9, 2016 by ensuring availability and operation of power plants and electricity market, carrying out strategic preventive maintenance of all power facilities, and providing enough technical manpower for emergency response and security of vital power infrastructures, among others.
Likewise, it has to be recalled that President Benigno S. Aquino III has created in February the Inter-Agency Task Force on Securing Energy Facilities (IATFSEF) to address the bombing incidents involving the transmission facilities that apparently escalated late last year, and the right-of-way issues faced by NGCP.
Since then, the IATFSEF has restored the compromised Tower No. 25 on March 14 paving the way for Agus Units 1 and 2 to inject clean and cheap power supply to the Mindanao grid. Negotiations for clearing operations are also continuously being undertaken by the IATFSEF with the landowners/claimants to prune/cut/trim the trees, remove structures and prevent any obstructions from being built beneath the transmission highway.
Secretary Monsada emphasized that the reliability of transmission lines is a concern of everyone, citing that even if power plants are generating sufficient electricity, but if it can’t be transmitted due to tripping and toppling of transmission lines and towers, then there will be power shortages in the affected areas. She then calls on, again, the cooperation of landowners/claimants, local government units and individual households for cooperation and vigilance for the integrity of the transmission facilities nationwide.
Furthermore, the DOE encourages all energy consumers to practice efficient and judicious use of electricity in their day-to-day activities.