24-hour intermittent brownout hits Cotabato province

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/18 May) – A power outage totaling 24 hours hit the area serviced by the Cotabato Electric Cooperative (Cotelco) starting 11 p.m. Thursday, with an official saying the interruption was not yet part of the rotating load curtailment imposed in the Mindanao grid.

Vincent Baguio, Cotelco spokesman, blamed the tripping off of the 69-kilovolt transmission line, located at their substation in Barangay Paco, for the first long brownout.

The power interruption affected Kidapawan City and the towns of Makilala, Magpet, Antipas, Arakan, President Roxas, Matalam, Kabacan, Tulunan, and M’lang.

Power supply was restored at around 1 a.m. Friday, Baguio said.

But North Cotabato again experienced brownouts from 530 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday.

Baguio said they immediately dispatched their linemen to check out the problem.

“I admit it took us too long to determine what caused the brownout in our service areas. We had to check every electric pole,” he said.

“Hours later, we found out that some of the insulators of some of the electric poles had malfunctioned and we have to replace them with new ones,” Baguio added.

To supply power to North Cotabato, Baguio said they tapped from the 69-kV transmission line of the Tacurong City substation.

The distribution utility, however, failed to supply its entire service area due to low voltage.

“Because we experienced low voltage, we had to cut off power in some of our service areas. We believe what happened last Friday hurt our consumers and the business community, but we humbly ask sorry for the inconveniences it brought to them,” Baguio said.

Indeed the long unexpected brownouts had the business community and many consumers fuming mad.

Vicky Guboc, owner of Touch That Cares Beauty Studio, said they had no income for the day due to the brownout.

The parlor has no standby generator set, said Guboc.

Ritchie Joy Mamburao-Gapasin, owner of ChinaGap Events and Concepts, said the long brownouts are “slowly killing” businesses in the city.

“Despite the brownouts, our electric bills have soared,” she complained. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)