Blackouts extended to 7.5 hours

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

THE Davao Light and Power Company (DLPC) has increased the duration of its scheduled rotational blackouts from six hours to seven hours and 30 minutes starting today.

The power utility, in a press statement, said this translates to five hours of power outage during peak hours and two and a half hours during off-peak.

The DLPC said the longer power outage is due to lower allocation of power supply from the National Power Corporation (NPC).


"(NPC) through the National Grid Corporation of the Phils. (NGCP) has further reduced the power supply allocation of Davao Light from 120 megawatt (MW) as of last week to 102 MW starting May 7," DLPC said.

This is a 178-MW deficit to their contracted supply with NPC of 280 MW.

DLPC needs a total supply of 396 MW to serve its franchise area that has demand averaging to 300 MW. With the current situation, the electric distributor does not have enough supply to cater to its consumers.

DLPC has already plotted power interruptions from May 8 to 14 and divided it into six time frames: 12 a.m. to 4 a.m.; 4 a.m. to 8 a.m.; 8 a.m. to 12 noon; 12 noon to 4 p.m.; 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.; and 8 p.m. to 12 midnight. The franchise area is grouped into three: A, B, and C.

"However, Davao Light would like to inform customers that the actual switch off and switch on time may vary from the announced schedules and may exceed from the stated duration depending on the actual load curtailment levels imposed by NGCP on Davao Light that changes every hour," they said.

In last week's Club 888 Forum at the Marco Polo Hotel, DLPC executive vice president and chief operations officer said the situation this year is "much worse" compared to 2010 wherein the rotational brownouts were only two hours maximum.

He also said they will continue to provide electricity to important facilities like the hospitals, airports, water utility, and peace and security agencies.

In a phone interview with Sun.Star Davao on Wednesday, Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) acting executive director Mary Antonette Doromal said the chamber will be seeking a dialogue with DLPC on May 16.

"The situation has prompted us to get to the bottom of the problem. With the dialogue, it will allow us to understand and know what is causing the problem," she said.

Doromal also said they will invite executives from NGCP to attend the dialogue. They are also conducting surveys and data collection to know the impact of the rotational brownouts on its members.

Earlier, Department of Trade and Industry 11 regional director Ma. Belenda Q. Ambi said businesses highly dependent of power will be negatively affected by the brownouts.

"It may result to several possible scenarios like delays in production, failure to meet orders or deliveries, low customer turnouts for services, and etc.," she said.

The Davao City Investment Promotion Center (DCIPC) also has estimated that hourly income loss of businesses affected but the brownouts would be around P3 million to P5 million and can go as high as P6 million.

"These estimates are based on the computed hourly income of all businesses in the city with a median of P19 million per hour during regular business hours but can go as high as P42 million during peak hours," said DCIPC officer-in-charge Ivan C. Cortez in a statement e-mailed to the news organizations on Monday.

He pointed out that the estimates are based on the following assumptions: business income is evenly distributed per district; up to 33 percent of the city experiences power outage at any given hour and; businesses affected are operating at 50 percent capacity during outages.

"To get nearer to reality figures, we need to map out all the businesses, input their daily or hourly income, and measure percentage of paralysis during power outages," he explained.

Cortez also said businesses that have generators would enjoy an increase in sales since the public would seek a place to spend time in.

The Davao City Water District (DCWD) announced in their Facebook page that on Tuesday some of its facilities were affected by the rotational brownouts. This resulted to areas served to experience low water pressure to no water. These facilities are: Tugbok and Riverside Production Wells, Tibungco Water System, GSIS Tanks 1 and 2, Lubogan, Toril and Line 2 of Dumoy Water Supply System; and Communal and Cabantian Production Wells.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 08, 2014.

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