Mindanao threatened by ‘black’ New Year

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COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao: Some parts of Mindanao, in particular Cotabato City and North Cotabato, may experience a “black” New Year as power supply in the region remains unstable as a result of a series of bombings at various transmission towers of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) this month.

Godofredo Homez, general manager of Cotabato Electric Cooperative (Cotelco) in North Cotabato, said the cooperative has received an advisory from the NGCP saying the grid was experiencing a deficiency of about 75 megawatts (MW).

“We were told to strictly observe their adjusted allocation,” Homez said.

The load curtailment resulted from the toppling of two more NGCP steel towers in Lanao del Sur, and in North Cotabato on Christmas Eve.


The recent bombing of NGCP transmission towers was preceded by the toppling of its other tower in Aleosan, North Cotabato earlier, which aggravated the already worsening condition of the current power supply in the region.

But Homez added that Cotelco is hopeful that it could still supply the required amount of power load so that the New Year’s Eve celebration would not be affected by the load curtailment.

As this developed, NGCP reiterated its appeal to power consumers, local officials and residents to help secure steel towers near them even as lawless elements conti-nue to try to sabotage the power facilities.

No one or any group has claimed responsibility for the twin bombings that took place in Ditsaan Ramain, Lanao del Sur and in Barangay Aroman, Carmen, North Cotabato on December 24.

Melfrance Capulong, speaking for the NGCP, said the toppling of Tower 25 has led to the isolation of government-owned generating facilities – the Agus 1 & 2 Hydro Electric Plants. As a result, 58MW was lost from the grid, aggravating the existing power shortage in Mindanao.

The two hydroelectric power plants, Agus 1 and Agus 2, both located in Lanao Del Sur, are still isolated as of December 27 due to the outage at Agus-Kibawe lines 1 and 2.

Meanwhile, Capulong gave assurances to the public that deployment of their field men to the damaged site to restore the plants’ operations was proceeding with caution, needing security clearances from both the military and the police for their safety.

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