DAVAO CITY: With the power deficiency in Mindanao, Davao city has now been rattled by long hours of power interruptions that last up to four hours.
On Thursday, the Davao Light and Power Co. (DLPC), announced that it is compelled to extend the rotational brownouts in Davao City because of insufficient supply from the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP).
As of July 30, NGCP has reported around 130 MW power deficiency, citing the dwindling water supply at the Pulangi-Agus power plants.
Only last week, DLPC said Davao will experience shorter power interruptions because of the “favorable weather and higher allocation of power” from NGCP. Therefore, the announcement on Thursday came as a surprise for many.
“It seems that even DLPC is confused about whether we truly have enough power supply, just power supply, or whether we are really in crisis,” said a restaurant owner. “Meanwhile, these interruptions are affecting business badly, especially those who rely heavily on a steady supply of electricity.”
According to Ross Luga, DLPC corporate communications officer, the extended power interruption is necessary.
“We have to avoid a breakdown of the entire distribution system, that happens when the demand is high and we do not have enough supply,” he said, adding that NGCP is only providing DLPC with 163 MW of the 275 MW contracted supply.
Because of this, the company was forced to use is diesel-powered Bajada Power Plant.
But power remains insufficient even with the hydropower plant operated by Hedcor and the barge of Therma Marine.
All three companies are under Aboitiz Power, which is also behind the construction of a two-unit 300-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Toril. The power plant, operated by Therma South Inc., will be fully operational by February next year.
Meanwhile, the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) said the power interruptions experienced in Davao and other parts of Mindanao are brought about by the effects of climate change.
“These are all indications of long term effects that we are seeing, feeling and experiencing in terms of climate change,” said MinDA director for investment Romeo Montenegro during Thursday’s launching of #NowPH (Not On Our Watch Philippines) campaign, a climate change and environmental awareness campaign initiated by the Climate Change Commission, United States Agency for International Development (USAid), the National Youth Commission, and MinDA.