Energy Secretary assures suffiicient power supply in Mindaano in May polls

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/10 April) — Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada assured there would be sufficient power supply in Mindanao during the May 9  automated local and national elections.

In an e-mailed statement Saturday, Monsada emphasized that Filipino voters “deserve a clean and unquestionable elections with the stable provision of electricity during the election period.”

Monsada chairs the Power Task Force Election (PTFE) 2016 which met in Cagayan de Oro City on Friday  with the power stakeholders to synchronize efforts to prepare for the elections.

Monsada said the agency checked on Agus 6 and 7 hydropower plants in Maria Cristina, Iligan City and ensured that the PTFE headquarters within the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) and Iligan Regional Disaster Command Center (RDCC) are in place to make sure that everything goes smoothly 10 days prior to and after elections.

The task force was created upon the deputization of DOE, National Electrification Administration, National Power Corporation, and National Grid Corporation of the Philippines to conduct activities involving “information, education, communication campaign with the local communities” to ensure adequate, stable, and reliable power supply, before, during, and after the elections in the country.

The task force is tasked to “ensure availability and operation of power plants, carry out strategic preventive maintenance of all power facilities, and provide enough technical manpower for emergency response and security of vital infrastructure.”

The Task Force members are set to visit the PTFE Visayas headquarter in Banilad in Cebu on Friday next week and a dry-run on April 21 will be done test if all communications are working among all headquarters in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Aside from the PTFE, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Securing Energy Facilities (IATFSEF) was also mobilized to address the series of bombing attacks on the transmission lines and right-of-way issues.

The IATFSEF was composed of DOE, National Transmission Corporation, NGCP, Mindanao Development Authority, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, Department of Interior and Local Government, National Power Corporation, Department of Justice, and Land Registration Authority.

“The IATFSEF has restored the compromised Tower No. 25 on March 14 paving the way for Agus Units 1 and 2 to inject clean and cheap power supply to the Mindanao grid. Negotiations for clearing operations are also continuously being undertaken by the IATFSEF with the landowners/claimants to prune/cut/trim the trees, remove structures and prevent any obstructions from being built beneath the transmission highway,” the press release added. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)