Sep 26, 2020

Energy dept creates task force to fix Palawan power problems

The Department of Energy (DOE) has created a task force to address the frequent power outages in Puerto Princesa and other parts of Palawan.

The Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee and Task Force PALECO (IACC-TF) is set Thursday to meet with representatives of the Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO), National Power Corporation (NPC), to discuss the implementation of their action plans, DOE said in its July 24 press statement.

DOE also noted that IACC-TF PALECO will also present its final report to the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), headed by Governor Jose Chavez Alvarez, who is also present in the meeting.

“The DOE is committed to taking the lead in ensuring that PALECO’s issues be addressed. With the cooperation of all stakeholders, particularly PALECO Board of Directors, its management member-consumers, as well as the local government agencies. We should be able to provide high quality electricity services that Palaweños deserve,” said DOE Secretary Alfonos Cusi.

In its statement DOE said PCSD pledged its support to help foster efficient coordination with different stakeholders and local government agencies to effectively address the problem.

PALECO has been facing backlash from its consumers and the local government since 2017 due to the its unreliable electricity services in Palawan.

Following a Performance Audit and Assessment (PAA), DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi commanded the TF PALECO to look into power interruptions taking place in Palawan in February this year.

TF PALECO conducted two site validations on February 25 and March 11.

Its findings included the uncoordinated synchronization of the protection system of PALECO and NPC’s distribution lines, overloaded substations, vegetation obstruction along distribution lines, and the slow coordination among government agencies on maintenance and improvements of distribution line.

With these findings, the DOE directed PALECO, NPC, and the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to submit implementation programs.

PALECO was expected to accelerate tree-clearing activities along its distribution lines.
NPC on the hand was requested to fast track the improvement of its transmission lines and upgrade its power substations.

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