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DOE to address Palawan power failures



Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi created a special task force to urgently address the recurring brownouts in Puerto Princesa and other parts of Palawan.

The Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee and Task Force PALECO (IACC-TF PALECO) is set to meet with the representatives of Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO), National Power Corporation (NPC), and provincial government agencies on Thursday, 25 July, to discuss the progress of the implementation of their respective action plans.

PALECO has been facing extreme backlash from both its consumers and the local government since 2017 due to unreliable electricity services in the province.

In February this year, Secretary Cusi tasked TF PALECO to look into the power interruptions perennially taking place in Palawan by means of a Performance Audit and Assessment.

To this end, the task force conducted two site validations, with the first having taken place on 25 February followed by another on 11 March 2019.

TF PALECO’s findings included, among others, the uncoordinated synchronization of the protection system of PALECO and NPC’s distributions lines, overloaded substations, vegetation obstruction along distribution lines, and the slow coordination among various government agencies on distribution line maintenance and improvements.

Based on these findings, the DOE directed PALECO, NPC, and the National Electrification Administration to submit implementation programs.

PALECO was expected to accelerate tree clearing activities along its distribution lines, while the NPC was requested to fast track the improvement of its transmission lines and upgrade its power substations.

In today’s meeting, the IACC-TF PALECO will also present its final report to the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), a multi-sectoral and interdisciplinary body governing and implementing policies in the province, headed by Gov. Jose Chavez Alvarez.

The PCSD, whose members include local government units (LGU) and agencies, consumer and business groups, as well as indigenous cultural communities/indigenous peoples, has pledged its support to help foster efficient coordination among the various relevant stakeholders and local government agencies to effectively address all the issues surrounding the matter.

PCSD members, particularly the LGUs and their constituents will likewise have an opportunity to air out their grievances at the meeting.

“The DOE is committed to taking the lead in ensuring that PALECO’s issues will soon be addressed. With the cooperation of all stakeholders, particularly the PALECO Board of Directors, its management member-consumers, as well as the local government agencies, we should be able to provide high quality electricity services that Palawanos deserve. ” Secretary Cusi concluded.