DOE vows sufficient power for BSKE

Richmond Mercurio – The Philippine Star

October 27, 2023 | 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — There will be sufficient power supply available across the country before, during and after the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections (BSKE), the Department of Energy (DOE) gave assurance yesterday.

The DOE said measures are in place to prevent any unscheduled power outages that may disrupt the voting, as well as the counting process.

“Safeguarding the energy needs of the country during the critical electoral process is our foremost concern and we have enlisted the full cooperation of all our stakeholders in the generation, transmission and distribution sectors in this endeavor,” Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said.

“Preparations have been undertaken to ensure that there would be enough power in days leading up to, during and in the immediate conduct of the elections,” he added.

The DOE said its Energy Task Force Election has been instructed to coordinate with generating companies and the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) to ensure availability of generating units to meet the demand and required reserves during the BSKE.

It noted that the suspension of preventive maintenance and testing of generating units one week before and after the elections would be strictly enforced.

“The demand forecast in Luzon for the week of elections is at 12,257 megawatts. However, current demand is only 10,500 MW to 11,500 MW, where electricity consumption during the fourth quarter is generally lower. With this, we have a buffer of at least 700 MW,” the DOE said.

The Visayas and Mindanao grids, meanwhile, are not expected to experience any alerts, according to the agency.

The DOE said it has been coordinating closely with the generation companies and the NGCP to facilitate the timely completion and seamless entry of power projects, as well as critical transmission line projects, should there be any.

The NGCP was likewise directed to utilize the high voltage direct current and the Mindanao Visayas Interconnection Project during peak hours to balance the power supply and demand system of the grid.

Distribution utilities were instructed to deploy special and emergency line crews to check lines for any obstructions, and to ensure that all necessary and correct connections are installed within their franchise areas.

Meralco, on its end, has already inspected the electric facilities of close to 3,000 polling and canvassing centers, which include public schools and barangay halls, within its franchise area.

On election day, the DOE said special and emergency line crews will be on standby with the necessary logistical support to immediately respond to emergency cases affecting power supply.

The government and stakeholders should ensure a steady flow of electricity especially in election hotspots, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said yesterday.

Gatchalian said the DOE and distribution utilities like Meralco must make sure that there should be no power interruption during election day, since any interruption could raise concerns about peace and order. – Cecille Suerte Felipe


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