COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao: The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) on Sunday declared a “yellow alert” as two government-owned hydropower plants in Lanao del Sur remain isolated from the Mindanao grid since the transmission towers were bombed on Christmas eve.
A yellow alert means there is a possibility of power deficiency and rotational brownout in the grid area, Melfrance Capulong, spokesperson of NGCP Southern Mindanao Capulong, explained.
The NGCP expects the supply situation to worsen starting today, Monday, when classes resume and employees in the government and private sectors return to work after the holidays, she added.
Capulong said the Agus 1 and Agus 2 hydro power plants remained disconnected from the grid as repair works on the steel towers have been hampered by a right-of-way issue. A Maranao resident and landowner of the facility site in Ramain town reportedly prevented NGCP field personnel from doing repairs until the government pays his right-of-way claim. The facility is located near Lanao Lake, adjacent to Marawi City.
Capulong pointed out that despite lower power consumption brought about by the cold weather and yearend holidays, the NGCP placed the Mindanao grid on alert level with the reserves falling below the required levels.
Based on the NGCP power outlook for Mindanao on Sunday, the island has 107 megawatts (MW) of reserves. But today, Jan. 4, the Mindanao grid will have only 24 MW of reserves.
Meanwhile, NGCP officials again appealed to the public, the local and national government, the police and military to help safeguard the steel towers to ensure that power transmission remains uninterrupted.
Similarly, the company also called on local community leaders to help identify the perpetrators of the bombings and negotiate with uncooperative landowners so that longer power interruptions may be avoided.
No perpetrator has been identified, arrested, or charged in court as far as the bombings carried are concerned. Likewise, no one has claimed responsibility for the acts of sabotage, although the lawless Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in the past has been suspected and reportedly admitted to have carried out the attacks. This time the BIFF has been silent on the matter.
JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL