KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/27 August) — South Cotabato and portions of neighboring Sultan Kudarat suffered nearly 27 hours of power interruption starting early Friday due to technical hitches in the repair of a major transmission line connecting t
he area to the Mindanao power grid.
The power outage, which was implemented by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), started 7 a.m. on Friday and was only fully restored at 9:56 a.m. Saturday or about 17 hours beyond the 10-hour notice of power interruption earlier announced by the firm.
Cynthia Alabanza, NGCP spokesperson, said in a statement released Saturday afternoon that they have so far restored power transmission services in the entire South Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat service area.
“Unforeseen problems were encountered by the contractor for the repair activities which caused delays in the energization of the line,” she noted.
Alabanza said the repair activity was initially scheduled at 7:00 am to 6:00 pm on Friday to facilitate the tapping of conductors to the newly constructed towers along Kibawe-Kabacan double circuit 138-kV transmission lines affected by soil erosion in Kabacan, North Cotabato.
She said Shanghai Power Transmission and Transformation Engineering Company, the contractor for the said repair, requested for extension of the scheduled repair time to 9:56 .m. Saturday due to unforeseen onsite difficulties.
“Pulangi river is between the newly-constructed towers,” she said.
The extended power outage affected the municipalities of Banga, Lake Sebu, Norala, Sto. Niño, Tampakan, Surallah, Tantangan, T’boli and Lake Sebu in South Cotabato and Lutayan town in Sultan Kudarat. The area is served by the South Cotabato Electric Cooperative I or Socoteco-I.
Engr. Santiago Tudio, Socoteco-I general manager, said NGCP officials initially announced that the power outage would be extended only up to 9 p.m. last Friday.
He said another advisory later came, adjusting the restoration of power supply at 12 midnight.
But he said power was partially restored at around 2 a.m. Saturday but only in some parts of their service area.
At the city’s commercial district, power was restored at around 3:30 am but it went out anew after two hours, extending until past 9 a.m. “They (NGCP officials) could not explain properly why the power outage extended that long. I even called up their main office but I did not get any proper explanation also,” Tudio said.
Tudio said they were worried with the extended power interruption due to security concerns and its negative impact on the area’s economic activities. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)