WALA NA BANG POWER INTERRUPTION? Public and private sector collaborate to address power outages in Palawan

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Members of both public and private sector have come up with different programs to address the continuing brownouts in Palawan.

The programs were based on the findings and recommendations of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Task Force Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO).

DOE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi created the task force to address interruption problems in Puerto Princesa and other areas of Palawan.

PALECO has been experiencing unreliable electricity services since 2017, which resulted in backlash from consumers.

TF-PALECO conducted two site validations in February and March, following Cusi’s direction to look into the power interruptions through a Performance Audit and Assessment.

The Task Force discovered the following during the assessment: uncoordinated synchronization of the protection system of PALECO and National Power Corporation’s (NPC) distributions lines; overloaded substations; vegetation obstruction along distribution lines; and the slow coordination among various government agencies on distribution line maintenance and improvements.

Due to this, the DOE ordered PALECO, NPC, and the National Electrification Administration to submit their implementation programs. 

PALECO’s task was to fasttrack tree clearing activities along its distribution line. For NPC’s part, they are expected to fasten the improvement of its transmission and lines, as well as upgrade its substations.

The action plans were discussed on July 25, 2019 after an Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee (IACC).

Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) accepted the final report of IACC-TF PALECO and has committed to help promote efficient coordination among the concerned stakeholders and government agencies to address the issues.

PCSD is composed of members from local government units and agencies, consumer and business groups, including indigenous communities and peoples.

“The DOE is committed to taking the lead in ensuring that PALECO’s issues will soon be addressed. With the cooperation of all stakeholders, particularly the PALECO Board of Directors, its management member-consumers, as well as the local government agencies, we should be able to provide high-quality electricity services that Palawenos deserve,” Cusi was quoted in a Manila Bulletin report.