Soccsksargen moves to ensure stable power services amid pandemic

Soccsksargen moves to ensure stable power services amid pandemic

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Economic response planners in Region 12 (Soccsksargen) are pushing for more stable and efficient power services in the area amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Teresita Socorro Ramos, chair of the Regional Task Force (RTF) for Covid-19-Economy Response Cluster, said Tuesday they are working with the local government units (LGUs) in the region to help ensure the proper delivery of power supplies to communities.

She said they asked the LGUs, through the provincial governors, to assist the distribution utilities and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines in the clearing of power lines from possible sources of faults or any obstruction.

The official said the cluster earlier convened to address various energy-related concerns in the region, among them the frequent power interruptions.

A report from the Department of Energy’s Mindanao Cluster 3 said at least 400 power interruptions were recorded in Soccsksargen from July 1 to Sept. 30 alone.

These were reportedly caused by obstructing vegetation, wildlife electrocution, transient fault, system failure, external uncontrollable factors and scheduled line maintenance by the distribution utilities or electric cooperatives (EC).

Ramos, also director of the National Economic and Development Authority-Region 12, said the six ECs in the region reported that the line maintenance is being scheduled on weekends to avoid the disruption of online classes and other major economic activities in the area.

“We enjoined our ECs to maintain safe and reliable facilities and expedite the preventive maintenance works, especially in General Santos City,” she said in a report.

South Cotabato, Sarangani and the city are served by the South Cotabato I and II ECs; Sultan Kudarat province by the Sultan Kudarat EC; North Cotabato by Cotabato EC; and, Cotabato City by Cotabato Light and Power Company.

Since posting a power demand of 336-MW in 2018, the region’s power requirements have steadily increased due to the rise in power consumption of residential, commercial and industrial consumers.

The region primarily draws its power supplies from the Mindanao grid, which has a capacity of 2,901 megawatts (MW) as of Tuesday.

With the system peak pegged at 1,765-MW, its operating margin is at 1,136-MW. (PNA)

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