MALACAÑANG on Sunday gave assurances that there will be sufficient supply of electricity and potable water during a severe long dry spell brought by El Niño.
Palace Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the government has put in place several measures that aim to soften impact of the dry season on electricity and water, especially in Metro Manila, which gets its drinking water from the “evaporating” Angat dam.
The Palace official doused fears that the continuous evaporation of water in the dam will result in water shortage in Metro Manila.
“We have prepared for the drought, and according to the National Water Resources Board headed by [Public Works] Secretary [Rogelio] Singson, we have enough water supply for Metro Manila. Nevertheless, it is important that we also conserve water,” Coloma pointed out.
The water board, he explained, has an El Niño preparedness plan that covers effects of drought on the Angat dam. The plan is being implemented by the El Niño Domestic Supply Management Task Force composed of the water board, Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, National Irrigation Administration and concessionaires Maynilad and Manila Water.
Coloma said a worsening heat index is aggravated by scheduled maintenance shutdowns of various power plants and “forced outages.”
‘All of these things are being monitored by the Department of Energy. Their intention is to ensure the reliability of the supply of electricity,” the official added.
The inspections were conducted on important installations in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, Coloma said.
He lauded the private sector for its prompt response when the Kalayaan 3 and 4 power plants and Malaya 2 suffered outages last Friday, which prompted the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to declare deficient supply.
“Because of this, the NGCP has issued a yellow alert status and later to red alert status. But this was solved by the interruptible load program [ILP] participated in by 121 private corporation participants that contributed 247 megawatts of power from their own generator sets,” Coloma said.
The ILP allowed the Manila Electric Co., the country’s biggest power distributor, to move to prevent rotating brownouts that would have affected about half a million consumers.
“This is a good example of the timely action of the private sector in helping the government adapt to a situation where the power supply was insufficient,” Coloma said.
He called on the public to conserve electricity by adopting several energy conservation measures.