Cotabato co-op assures DepEd: ‘no brownout’ during online classes

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 22 June) —The Cotabato Electric Cooperative (Cotelco), a power firm serving 11 towns and this city in North Cotabato, has assured the Department of Education (DepEd) that scheduled online classes won’t suffer power interruptions once virtual schooling starts in August.

Engineer Godofredo Homez, Cotelco general manager, said they will coordinate with DepEd the schedule of the online classes so the power utility can appropriately adjust the scheduling of power interruptions in the province.

Homez noted there could be power interruptions during heavy rains or winds, which are beyond their control as these are natural phenomenon.

The official suggested for DepEd to acquire uninterruptable power sources (UPS) so that online classes will continue even during brownouts.

Homez said they are willing to help DepEd set-up the UPS in various schools.

Early this month, a complaint was filed against the electric co-op after a three-day power interruption allegedly disrupted the online summer classes of some students in affected areas.

These brownouts happened during typhoon “Ambo.”

“Actually, the complaint was channeled directly to the Department of Energy (DoE), particularly to Energy Secretary (Alfonso) Cusi, which came out in the news,” Homez said.

The DoE asked Cotelco for an explanation. The National Electrification Administration, an agency under the DoE that supervises electric cooperatives, also ordered Cotelco to respond to the complaint in writing.

Homez claimed the series of brownouts during the typhoon and low pressure area “did not actually affect online classes as each power interruption lasted for an hour, with the shortest at 38 minutes.”