Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) said the recent power interruptions experienced by its consumers are due to the ongoing improvements in their systems under the program Task Force Kapatid (TF Kapatid).
During the 4th quarterly press conference on Thursday, PALECO acting manager and project supervisor Engr. Nelson Lalas said that the experienced power interruptions are scheduled and announced to give way for the system improvement program.
“Kung titingnan natin, ang interruption [ay hindi na madalas] dahil sa malaking improvement, especially sa Puerto Princesa because of this Task Force Kapatid. Halos ilang kilometers na ‘yong ating pinapalitan na linya para maging insulated. ‘Yong bare conductor, pinapalitan namin ng insulator ng sa gayon ay ‘di magkaroon ng [problema sa sumasabit na] tuko, sometimes snake,” Lalas said.
Most of the power interruptions in Puerto Princesa City are scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
He said that the two batches of TF Kapatid had already insulated 35 kilometers in the city and completed 118 percent of its system improvement assistance to PALECO. The task force is composed of different electric cooperatives in Luzon and Visayas area and is expected to leave November 25.
Lalas said that line insulation is being prioritized to minimize power interruptions.
National Electrification Administration (NEA) deputy administration technical services sector Artis Nikki Tortola said that NEA has now strategies they are looking at together with the electric cooperative to resolve power distribution issues.
“Ang power system ni PALECO is only as good as its weakest link, ang sabi nila. Ibig sabihin noon, kung may problem aka sa generation, kahit maganda ‘yong distribution mo at sa transmission, wala pa rin kuryente. Ganoon ‘yon, from source to the distribution, marami na-e-experience si PALECO just recently na mga interruption dahil sa transmission. Heavily vegetated ang transmission line natin kaya ginagawaan natin ng solution ‘yan,” he said.
Tortola said that NEA is not only looking at the distribution problem of PALECO, it also looking at generation and transmission issues.
“Tingnan din natin na there are certain issues on the generation level na hindi mapre-prevent. The same with hindi mo puwedeng sabihin sa tuko na huwag umakyat sa poste o sa ahas na huwag umakyat. What PALECO could do [to fix] those issues is try to find mitigating issues measures in order to resolve them,” he said.
Tortola said that one of the issues raised by NEA to PALECO is the situation after the task force leaves. He said that problems assisted by other electric cooperatives might return such as vegetation clearing.
NEA has instructed PALECO to create a sustainability plan for vegetation management. Tortola said that the sustainability plan will not only dictate activities but also revisit policies and procedures of the cooperative in order to harmonize actions.
Aside from Task Force Kapatid, Tortola said that other major activities are being done by PALECO like the installation of two 5MVA substations in the north and south of Puerto Princesa to shorten the distribution line.
“Para ma-isolate ang locations, para di madadamay ang city every time na may interruptions doon,” he said.
NEA said the Task Force Kapatid PALECO has conducted 15 activities, including reconductoring or upgrading of the wires and pole replacement.
PALECO board of director chairman Jeffrey Tan-Endriga said that the electric cooperative will also have a massive information drive in 2020 to inform member-consumer-owners (MCOs) regarding the situation and plans of PALECO.
“Isa sa mga plano dito ay kung paano natin, i-equip natin ang ating MCOs kung ano ang sitwasyon kasi problema natin sa ngayon ay hindi aware at hindi well-informed ang ating member-consumer owners kung ano ang sitwasyon, ginagawa at mga plano. ‘Yan ang bibigyan natin ng focus this coming year dahil magkakaroon tayo ng massive information drive,” Endriga said.
Endriga said he cannot blame the MCOs on pointing the fault to the electric cooperative due to the failure of relaying information to them, he said.
Endriga added that MCOs are entitled to know the situation of the electric cooperative.
“Kung alam nila ang sitwasyon, hindi na sila magbibigay ng mga haka-haka, hindi na sila magbibigay ng false statement na kung saan, nasisira ang imahe ng ating kooperatiba,” he said.