ERC assures no brownouts during election period

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The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has assured that there would be no brownouts throughout the election period, as the agency is looking to approve contracts for ancillary services (AS) or reserve power.

ERC Commissioner Floresinda Digal affirmed this in a BusinessWorld report, saying the quasi-judicial commission has been holding consultations with stakeholders, primarily the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

The campaign period for national positions officially begins on February 8, or 90 days before the May 9 elections.

Last week, Sen. Risa Hontiveros called on the ERC to assure that there would be no power interruptions during the election period.  

Digal said that NGCP has entered into firm contracts for power reserves, which are now up for ERC’s approval. She added that the commission is monitoring the grid firm’s compliance with the DOE’s AS circulars. The DOE pounded NGCP over the contracting of AS following last year’s Red Alerts in Luzon.

NGCP has warned of a possible thinning of power supply, especially in Luzon, from April to June. Since the elections fall within the said period, lawmakers have raised concerns, saying that power interruptions may disrupt the quality and integrity of the elections. Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi then responded to NGCP’s warning, asking what the grid firm is doing to address the situation.

DOE and NGCP officials met on January 14 to discuss the 2022 Grid Operating and Maintenance Program in the wake of the Yellow Alerts, also in Luzon, on January 10 and 11.