Unplug to ensure uninterrupted power, says Palawan coop
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan: Residents of the western province of Palawan are being asked to turn off their refrigerators so there will be enough electricity to watch this weekend’s fight between boxing legend Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Rante Ramos, board secretary of the Palawan Electric Cooperative (Paleco) posted the appeal on Facebook on Wednesday, saying the area faced a power shortfall that might result in an outage on Sunday when the long-awaited fight airs in the Philippines.
“Truth is, come May 3 . . . Palawan grid would still be 2-megawatt short of power supply. Some circuits may inevitably be switched off,” he warned.
“Collectively we can do something. On May 3, let’s all voluntarily switch off or disconnect as many appliances as we could,” Ramos said, asking that about 15,000 homes switch off their refrigerators for a few hours.
He also urged people not to use their washing machines, air-conditioners and irons until the fight is over.
Palawan’s capital of Puerto Princesa has been suffering daily power outages lasting two to three hours because of a supply shortfall.
The entire nation, however, is eagerly anticipating the “fight of the century” between Pacquiao, regarded as a national figure, and unbeaten American Mayweather to finally answer who is the better pound-for-pound boxer of their generation.
The fight is going to be shown live in public on widescreen TVs in the city, sponsored by two candidates who are running for mayor in Puerto Princesa elections on May 8.
It will also be shown on a pay-per-view basis in many bars and hotels of the popular resort city.
The Manila Electric Co (Meralco), the country’s largest distributor of electrical power, said there would be no power interruption in its service areas on Sunday.
Meralco is Metro Manila’s only electric power distributor and holds the power distribution franchise for 22 cities and 89 municipalities.
“There would be no blackout [on Sunday], we can meet the demand, perhaps we can only expect for a knockout,” said Rolando Cagampan, vice president and head of energy management of Meralco.
Besides the sufficient power supply, Cagampan noted that the mega-fight falls on a weekend with expected less demand.
Based on Meralco’s data, he explained, there is a less power demand during weekends as more offices and establishments have no operation.
“There is an approximately 20 to 25 percent drop in power demand during weekend compared to ordinary work days,” Cagampan said.
He also noted that whenever Pacquiao has a fight, the power demand usually increases by 10 percent as Filipinos usually stay at home to watch the bout, consuming more electricity.
“The 10-percent increase in the demand is quite manageable,” Cagampan said.
The Department of Energy (DOE) also assured that there will be no power outages during the mega-fight.
Based on its four-week outlook, the DOE said the power supply in the Luzon grid is still normal.
Besides, it added, almost all of the power plants are performing well as they have scheduled their maintenance work early.
The DOE cited the effective cooperation and participation of consumers in the energy conservation programs of the government.
The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), the grid and transmission operator, also assured that all its facilities are in good shape and that it is not expecting any interruption.
Based on NGCP’s power situation outlook as of 6 a.m. Thursday, the Luzon grid has a total reserve of 1,368 megawatts, Visayas has 136 MW while Mindanao is in red alert with zero reserve.
Sen. Ralph Recto earlier called on Energy officials to better ensure that May 3 is “National No Brownout Day.”
Recto said any outage anywhere will turn them into “punching bags” by people who would be deprived of watching on TV the Pacquiao-Mayweather mega-fight.