NEA orders electric co-ops to provide 24/7 power


The National Electrification Administration (NEA) has directed all electric cooperatives to ensure that consumers will receive continuous electricity services, as Luzon is under enhanced community quarantine due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong released a memorandum directing 121 ECs nationwide to prepare their respective Vulnerability and Risk Assessment and Emergency Restoration Plans for Crisis Management. 

With this, EC Management and Board of Directors are to implement strategies to maintain their operations and support infrastructure while keeping their employees and workers safe.

Masongsong also advised all community-owned power distribution utilities to activate their respective Business Continuity Plans to ensure their sustainability and viability, with consideration to the economic impact of the COVOD-19 pandemic.

“Possible or assumed scenarios should be considered, including delayed payments by the consumers, prioritization of the payment of obligations, the impact to the rate due to reduction of power consumption yet continued genco [generation company] charges like Capital Recovery Fee (CRF) and other operating costs,” he said. 

Electric co-ops in Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG) areas are tasked to coordinate with their power suppliers in the off-grid distribution system to ensure continuous fuel supply.

ECs in areas placed under enhanced community quarantine, are urged to implement “flexible work arrangements” to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 while strictly observing social distancing and other health precautionary measures.

“The EC Management may consider assignment of a skeletal workforce, work from home, compressed work week, staggered working hours and other alternative work arrangements that shall be implemented so as not to prejudice the delivery of electric services,” Masongsong said. 

Power co-ops are also instructed to inform the NEA as well as their local government and public health authorities in case they have employees who were identified as either persons under monitoring/investigation and those who tested as COVID-19 positive. 

The NEA chief also activated the agency’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Department’s (DRRMD) Command Center in Quezon City, staffed by engineers. They will be closely monitoring the power situation in all coverage areas of the ECs in the country.